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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News/Business.  

    July 18, 2011
    12:00 - 5:00pm EDT  

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they will then consider a bill to allow churches to merge their funds with pension funds. tomorrow, a republican debt reduction plan that ties a balanced budget amendment to raise the debt ceiling. institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., july 18, 2011. i hereby appoint the honorable michael k. simpson to act as
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speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2011, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair decla
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capital, oklahoma senator tom coburn offers his plan to cut the deficit by $9 trillion over the next decade. that news conference starts at 2:30 eastern and you can see it live here on c-span. >> now available, the cspan tour -- congressional directory. new and returning house and senate members with contact information including twitter addresses, district maps, and committee assignments and information on the white house,
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supreme court justices, and governors. order online at c-span.org/shop. >> have you ever visited the library of congress? over 2 million people have and now this is your chance to tour the world's largest library. tonight, join cspan for a rare glimpse inside the library of congress. we will take you into the great hall and explore the main reading room. look at you need books and rare books including original books from thomas jefferson's personal collection and see how the library is using modern technology to discover hidden secrets and preserve its holdings for future generations. join us for "the library of congress" night at 8:00 p.m. on c-span. >> tonight on "the communicators, "robert mcdowell on the fcc's actions this week to crack down on offer a service charges on consumers' phone
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bills. that and other issues in front of the fcc tonight on "the communicators." on c-span 2. now an update on the progress between president obama and congressional leaders on the debt ceiling from this morning's "washington journal." we will get to that and the answer. first we have a congressional editor for politico that is on the phone. good monday morning. many talks occurred over the weekend. what is on tap for today? guest: no serious talks over the weekend and nothing specific on the schedule. when they sit down publicly, it is a little bit more feeder. there will be action this week as you indicate. there will be votes on the house floor and maybe even the senate floor. this is not the actual vote. the package is something that
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the conservatives want to check up on but has no chance of passing the senate. host: explain it for us. guest: a vow to cut spending and balance the budget. it sounds like common sense on the surface. the problem is the way it is written. the cap on spending is a hard cap. it is hard to overcome when you have an emergency. an example is a terrorist attack. balance the budget seems common sense. and this is different. it requires a two-thirds threshold of both chambers of commerce. basically a supermajority to ever raise taxes. it makes it almost impossible to
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get an increase in tax revenue. many mainstream republicans are not one to go for that. host: a lot of this week's action is a scripted on the floor. can you give us a broader picture of this debt limit to that is a living? guest: we believe there is going to be a deal, but i cannot say what it is right now. this week is about debate. republicans say there is a price to pay for increasing the debt limit. the voters are going to say, we voted on this. a very strong conservative strong cut and cap and balance thing. then we go into the real negotiations at the end of the week and into next week, where we will have to call for something.
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there are a lot of options out there. there are a lot of doomsday scenarios out there. we may come down to the wire like we always do in congress. host: there is a headline in your publication this morning. what is the latest there? guest: david rogers writes about this. it is a pretty hard right turn. [inaudible] it is 80 per to proposal. -- it is a tea party proposal. as remove towards the default working on something that has no chance of becoming law, that becomes a problem. once a lot of republicans voted for this, -- it is not the one
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that is going to become law. we are moving into uncharted territory. there is a certain debt limit and a skeptics' group out there. they to not believe there are negative consequences to pass in the august 2 default deadline. host: what is the posture of the white house currently? hasn't shifted over the past few days -- has it shifted over the past few days? guest: i think they are looking at a deal short of this cut, cap, and balance. the would like a big deal as obama calls it. speaker john boehner is interested in that, but not much support in making a deal from his own caucus. willing to open his
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>> more from this morning's "washington journal." the role that religious conservatives are playing in politics. at the table, richard land of theouthern baptist convention. all of these fiscal matters. in terms of how a religus conservative views the nation's debt? >> guest: we're borrowing 41 ces of every dollar our government spends. we have been living way beyond our means for a lg time. if we do not quickly address it, and i mean quickly and significantly, we're going to foreclose our children and grandchildren's future. they will spend their entire
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lives paying off our debt. my generation will be the first generation in american history to be quick to the children and grandchildren and or standard of living than the one we had. my parents would be aghast at this theorld w ii generation would be aghast. their whole lives were dedicated to us, perhaps unhappily so. one comment about the baby boomers, we reduce stars of our families and we never got over it. this is generational theft. one of the 10 commandments is, thou shalt not steal. host: how you feel we got here? gues remember al gore talking about a lock box in the 2000 election. there is no lock box. the president let that out of the bag. the president said we may not be a list send social security
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checks. what happened to the trust fund? the trust fund was raided. what is in the trust fund is a huge stack of iou's om congress when it took the money paid into sources security and spent and for other things. -- into social security and spent it for other things if the checks to not go out, the government takes in abo $200 billion a month. social security checks are $50 billion a month. can pay the interest on we go and pay the social security checks and pay the $35 million that is medicare and medicaid and not the fault iand i think t would be a choice the president makes. i think it is despicable he is trying to scare social secure recipients into thinking if we do not raise the debt ceiling, that they will not get their checks. if they do not, it would be the
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choice of the obama administration and secretary of treasury. host: our guest is richard land of the southern baptist commission. the phone numbers are on the bottom of the screen but we're talking about the campaign 2012. conservatives who are running and the greek fiscal issues that everyone is wrestling with here in washingn. -- we're talking about the conservative and fiscal issues that everyone is wrestling with here in washington. richard land, what should be cut, from your point of view? guest: almost everything. when you're looking at a budget such as this one, first of all, i've seen very few budgets to could not take a 5% cut. i would have 5% across-the-board cut. secondly, i think we could start with the $200 billion that the gao identified
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$200,000,000,000.38 triplicate and wasteful programs that do not do any good. $200 billion. that is a good place to start. there many places we could cut. frankly, i do not think planned parenthood should be getting $400 million from the american government. i think npr can function ju fine on its own. that would be nearly $1 billion a year, $10 billion over a decade, if we just cut out those two programs. there many places we could cut that we're spending on programs that we do not need, wasteful programs. when the gao cn find $200 billion in cuts, that a significant. host:n your view, what is the proper role of government? guest: xiii, the government is
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ordained by god. punish those who do evil and reward those which is right. the government should be maintaining law and order and to be fostering a society in which exemplary behavior is rewarded and less than exemplary behavior is not. and there's a moral symmetry to the society. i think government and the country as wealthy as ours, we should be looking out for the welfare and health of the people within the ability of the government and the ability of the country to pay we cannot do everything. that is part of the problem. washington has been tried to do everything. they have been kicking the can down the road. now we've reached the place we can no longer can get down the road. we're going to become greece.
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there is no one to il us out if we go into default. host: our guest, the host of "richard land life, closed with a three-hour program. -- "richard land live," a three- hour program. guest: we're on the air every saturday. i start talng about topics until people start calling. one of the ways to keep myself interested is, i wonder at a time -- which topic will get people calling? i am seldom right. [laughter] it often is a surprise to me what it's the calls coming, what is them far enough to call in a positive or negative. host: florida, independent, john. good morning. caller: you guys make me think
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of some any questions. i've a comment about c-span 3 yesterday. they had a wonderful program from debt ceiling debate from 1990, 21 years ago. they worse in the exact same things we're arguing about today -- they were saying the exact same this we're arguing about today. i think mr. durbin, a representative back there, mentioned when social 61st started, the maximum amount you could take out of a check was $30 back in 1939 read it went to $600 in 1969. during the debate of 1990 when the program was taking place, the maximum amount they could take out was $3,000. it is a ponzi scheme. my father was born in 1916. when he retired in 1981, they
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had taken out $13,000. he lived on until 1997 and collected over $300,000. this trust fund, so this may -- so to say, there is no trust fund. that is why clinton had a surplus. that surplus was because he put the amount that is in the social security trust fund into that figure that made it appeared to be a surplus. we never had a surplus. the bottom line is, this is a ponzi scheme. the government does not take this money and invest it like a bank would. they do not lend i out and get 19% interest like credit cards or 8% on mortgages, so you cannot generate a critical mass of money for the retirement neration because -- like i said, my father put in 13,000 and got out $330,000. who makes up that difference?
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the taxpayers. guest: i cannot agree more. i am one of the beneficiaries. i am the first year of the baby boomers. i read an article that said if i live out a normal life span, i will get about $0 in medicare and social security for every dollar i put in. my parents, who are a little younger than your parents, and are still alive, have gotten many, many times more out of so security than they put in. it is a ponzi scheme. if a private entity did with the federal government is doing with social security, they would go to jail. it is what brain madoff went to jail for. they're taking money from current contributors to pay for those are currentlyetired. that wil not last much longer because with the baby boomers, tenerife first 1946 -- january 1
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1946 and general first 2011, the first baby boomer turns 65. every eight seconds for the next 18 years, a baby boomer will turn 65. that is a huge, huge, 78 million generation burden on social security. there is no way or no argument that we are going to be a to bring our fiscal house in order without adjustments to social security. we c no longer afford a one size fits all kind of retirement plan that we have. i'm not talking about those who are currently retired and those who are nearing retirement, but for those who are say 55 and younger, we're going to have to give them some warning that we are going to have to say or tax more of social security for those who have other means -- no one is talking about taking
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away social security from those who have that is the only retirement income. but there are millions of americans who have irs'a and other retireme programs. and other retirement programs. we will have to tax them at higher rates in order to keep the program solvent for everyone. ho: mississippi, a democrat. caller: been morning. i want to ask the preacher a question. whenever you hear it were going on in the tax breaks for the rich and money taken at of social security, why is it going to them people? guest: i am for a far more simplified tax system and what we have now. i'm n here to argue for tax breaks for the rich. but those are not causing us to
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spend or to borrow 41 ces of every dollar that our government spends. we bring in $200 billion a month right now, and $50 billion of that is going for social security payments. that is with just the first year of baby boomers begin to retire. another $35 billion in medicare and medicaid. you understand, at me point, it is just going to submerge us. i am for a far more simplified tax system than the one we have now. i would lower the rates along the terms of the some symbols commission and cut out loopholes. i think we should be incentivizing capital formation and productivity rather than incentivizing intelligent people spending their time trying to figure out how to avoid paying taxes. host: plenty more time for your
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calls. here is an e-mail. don't you think churches and religious organizations should be paying taxes? church and state is supposed to be two different entities. guest: i think churches should be chaired by all non-profit private entities. if you want to tax the other nonprofit charitable entities, and you can tax churches. but anti do that, and you start taxing the march of dimes and united way,ou should not tax churches. churches are nonprofit entities. as long as they are, they should be treated like all oth nonprofit entities. one thing we can to take for granted in this country, becau it has always been part of the furniture in the room, and our country, we are far, far more given to charitable causes than any other country in the world. hundreds of tis more. part of it is we are a generous
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people. part of it is our government a long time ago figured out people will give a lot more to what they care about giving to if there incentivized to do so through tax deductions. a person who has means will give $100,000 to an organization and get a $10,000 or $15,000 tax deduction for that. they will do so because they care about it and then that does tremendous good in the community. i would say churches should not be treated any differently than all of the other charitable, nonprofit organizations in the country. host: north carolina, republican. caller: thank you for taking my call. mr. land, a thank you for being on the forefront of making or keeping americans reminded that
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a divine intervention did have a big part in this country. could i ask you one thing? and they know the same answer. what you think is our hope for america? there's only one hope for america. what would you say that would be? guest: as a christian, i think the only hope and best hope for america is a spiritual revival or the country turns back to the creator. our founding documents say that we believe all men are created equal and endowed by their creator or with certain unalienable rights and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. i think our country was founded by people who were elected on a studio christian base. they did not just pull those ideas out of thin air. they got them from the heritage that they share with the british who also got a from the judeo-
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christian heritage. i believe if we did that, if we had a return to pple behaving responsibly and understanding they are responsible to a higher power, then we would have far more responsible behavior, which would lead to fewer out of wedlock pregnancies, fewer divorces, and lead to not having 50% of our children being reared in single-parent homes. the greatest single cause of poverty in the united states is single parenthood. everyone agrees about that. if we could get men to marry the mothers of their children and stay married to them, we would eliminate a huge burden on our gornment. we are paying about $700 billion a year in means tested programs
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that essentially are trying to make up for the lack of fathers support the economic terms and in emotional terms because of absent fathers. if we could get fathers to marry the mothers of their trodden and stay married, we would be closing prisons. boys without a father have twice the chance of being incarcerated by the times they are 30 than those who gr up in homes with fathers. we had a 5% a legitimate rate in 1960, and 41% today. -- illegitimacy rates is 41% today. host: harry reid talk about the tea party late last week amidst
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all of these debt negotiations. when we come back, we will talk about the two-party. >> i've been to a few court house is. any time around here with a new tea party philosophy, they seem to think they have an online was about the constitution. short, that is a bunch of garbage, ok? i do not know how to say more clearly than that. host: kind of a short clip, simply put by the majority leader. what you make of the tea party? guest: i think the tea party is an amazing movement, amazing grass-roots movement in america. i have never been to a tea party rally, but i have observed them and i know people who go to them. i have seen the polling. 90% of the people are social
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security -- social consvatives. what drove them into the political activism was their concern that they play by the rules, have paid their taxes, have worked hard, and they see the government for closing their financial future and the financial future of their children and grandchildren. they want it stopped. i think the two-party is sort of the del-tea party is the spear point of a larger movement. there's a real debate going on. some are listening to obama in 2008 when he said, i want to remake america. he is in the process of doing so. he is tried to take over one seventh of the economy to obamacare. he has taken over two of the three big automakers. now he has increas the percentage the government spends of gross domestic product from 20.6% to 20.5%, a huge increase.
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it is one of the things driving the debt crisis. there's a reaction to that from americans and many are called tea partiers. they do not want to remake america, but restore america. they think america took a wrong turn in the late 1960's. we began to emphasize privileges and rights over obligations and responsibilities. many of the people who think that was a wrong turn now to that turn themselves. they have seen the consequences of them. and the havoc it has wrought in our society and broken homes and broken lives and broken children and adults who are still traumatized by the broken homes they grew up in. they saying, no, we want to restore america. peggy noonan had a wonderful article last week about their 100 million americans over 50
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and many feel like immigrants. they feel like they live in a country that is different than the country they grew up in. in many ways, it is different. they want it to restore in america where exemplary behavior is rewarded, not mocked. and less than exemplary behavior is not rewarded. host: what is your biggest critique of the tea party? what would you say to them? guest: i would say, be careful to emphasize what you're for and not try to demonize those that opposeou. we're all in this together. we're on this big liner called america together giving there are people that disagree with you and that does not mean they're bad people or that they're not patriotic. host: what would you like to
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say? caller: i want asked about his opinion why isn't always easy for us to demonize those who are in poverty, to blend them personally but we continue to pay corporate wealth over long periods of time? i will hang up. host: corporate welfare point there. tost: i'm not sure we panr inherited wealth with the tax rates being what they are. i am certainly not the recipient of inherited wealth, i can assure you of that. i'm the first person in my family to graduate from college. i do not think people are demonizing those who are in economic straits, but we do have to look at some of the reasons for it.
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choosing not to marry the mother of your children is a choice. staying not married -- and not staying married to the mother of your children is a choice bridge 70% of the time after a divorce with no-fault divorce, the former husband's last dog goes up in the living standard of his wife and family goes down. i will sign up for anyone who wants to eliminate no-fault divorce right now. i will give you a statistic that has more heartbreak and i can even do justice. that is that every year in america, and seven out of tin of forces, only one partner once the divorce. the other partner fls used, abandon, taking advantage of, lied to, and slept with great
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harm. host: kansas, a democrat. good morning. hello? caller: yes, this is tricky. i want to say one thing. my concern is very high, especially being the the term of fighting crime this was 28 years ago and have never seen nothing for it. no sense of security disability. my wife is disabled and falling ju got it. -- know so security disability. my wife is disabled and finally just got it. how can we just be taking care of our own quest mark >> guest: i like what we're -- doing in africa a lot better we are contributing to funds that have some accountability in terms of economic development.
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charity begins at home. i think we do need to take care of our domestic needs first. we're in a place right now where i think we're to be far more frugal with our foreign aid than we are, although, it is a very small percentage of the budget and has been ever since the end of the cold war. but i do not think there is any program that the federal government administers that could not be more responsibly administrative. that is why i'm talking about the 5% cut. i cannot imagine a federal program that could not undergo a 5% cut was no reduction in productivity. host: mary, north carolina, republican. caller: i am calling and to come on the social security issue -- i want to comment on the social
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security issue. i would like to remind people listening, and many will be old enough to remember back in the 1990'shen president george w. bush was working on the options. i say options of some program where people on social security and it did not invve anybody older than 55. it was to be 55 and under, those going into social security to have an option in a private savings account. that was demonized almost from here to eternity.
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i will never forget that when aarp came out with an issue of the newsletter, huge issue about what president bush was going to do with social security. i remember that by the thousands, senior citizens cut their aarp cards. this is what led to be parting company with the aarp. and the other important issue that i think needs to be really emphasized, and i do n hear it emphasized anymore, it is for people to pay attention not just on the short term to what is going on. i just did a wonderful thing, i've been voting since 1964.
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my husband and i remained democrats until just a few years ago. what people were promising and when they were delivering, and just of the tran -- trends, because as i got older i had a bit more time to pay attention than i did when i was junger. involved in raising children, etc. i noticed that a lot of the people being elected wound up not doing what they said they were going to do -- >> ry from north carolina guest. politicians are like your children often, do what you expect -- inspect, not expect.
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george w. bush's proposal was in 2005, right after the election, and it would have been a wonderful deal for younger people. i hope it would have passed. it would haveeen a great deal for my children. it would have allowed people to take an option of investing 2% of the social security contributions in a private account with their name on it that they actually owned, that the government could not borrow and leave a paper iou. you could invest it and have a certain number of options -- you could throw a dart at a dart or for stocks and to better than the 2% return you get for social security. if you died prematurely, that cat was your money -- that account with your money and you could give it to your children. it would have been a far better deal than the one at junger workers currently have under the prognosis partial security --
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for social security, and it would not touch anybody under 55. what did the democrats do? they demagogue it in completely misrepresented it and kept president bush from doing something which would have helped us to avert this crisis. of crse, they are doing the same thing now with paul ryan and's plan. i find it amazing. paul ryan's plan more radical than i would do, but his plan is interesting on medicare. he says no one under 55 is touched. people under 55, when they reached retirement age, they go on medicare and will get a voucher and will be able to go out and buy insurance. president obama said that this is throwing people to their own devices. it is exactly what obamacare does for the rest of the country. what ryan was doing with medicare recipients is exactly what president obama's plan does for the rest of the country who
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go to these exchanges. that is not throwing people to their own deves. why is it throwing people to their own devices to put competition into the medicare system? you know, the drug benefit system is one of the few government programs in history that its actual cost less -- that has actually cost less than it was projected to cost, because there was competition built into it. host: 17 minutes left without guest, richard land of the southern baptist convention. shifting gears a little bit, who is your favorite candidate for 2012? guest: 0, i don't have one, and if i did, i would not tell you, because i don't endorse candidates. it is no secret that i am pro- life. i am going to vote for a pro- life candidate. but which one? that is up to them. the one that i think would make the best president.
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that is what i did the last time, every time in the primaries i tried to vote for the person that is pro-life that i think would make the best president. so i listened and i am watching and listening and reading and going to websites. host: one of these candaceut there, herman cain, there isn ap stor -- is an ap story. he says "communities have a right to ban mosques." "gop presidential candidate herman cain said that communities have a right to band mosques. cain said is he does not amount to religious discrimination because he says that muslims are trying to inject sharia law into the u.s." guest: firstf all, i would respectfully encourage him to read the first amendment to the constitution, where it says that
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government ought not interfere with the free exercise of religion -- should not interfere wi the free exercise of religion. the first amendment is one of those amendments that is too important, and attacks whites that are two central to our -- and protects rights that are too central to our rights of the country. mr. cain of all people, as an african-american, should understand that our rights should be guaranteed at the federal level. i don't think he would want to leave the civil rights of an african-american to the local voters in philadelphia, mississippi, where they buried three civil-rights workers under a dam after they had told them a bit at the demographic anomalies are such that we cannot -- after they had killed them.
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the demographic and, is such that we cannot leave the bill of rights to the local option, i"m 'm sorry. muslims have a right to have places of worship. now, sharia law is unconstitutional. it violates the separation of church and state and separation of mosque and state. secondly, it violates clauses that protect equal rights. under sharia law, women do not have equal rights. if a muslim uple choose to operate their marriage according to islamic law, that is a voluntary contract they enter into, and if they have a right to do that. i defend to the death of their right to do that, just as i defend to the death my right as a baptist to have my marriage operated under the christian guidelines that i believe th bible teaches for a husband-wife relationship. but i would fight to the death
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to try to keep that baptist view from being made it illegal you and try to impose it on everyone else, and the same thing -- being made the illegal of you and try to impose it on everyone else, and the same thing is true with sharia law. don't throw out the baby with the bath, mr. cain. they have a right to have places of worship close by. they with -- close by tgo where they live. if they try to impose shairria law at any level, that is unconstitutional. we take a pledge to uphold the constitution of e united states, that means is, in america will look different and islam in other -- islam in america will look different from is, and other places, just like
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catholicism in america it looks different from catholicism in europe. it ended up transforming catholicism in europe, so now the vatican has become one of the chief eloquent spokespersons for religious freedom and soul freedom in the world. i would hope that islam in america would ultimately transform is, rather will to understand the separation of mosque and state is better for the mosque, just like the sepation of church and state is better for the church. separation of church and state is there to protect the church from the interference of the government. congress shall make no effect in and establish and of religion or interfering with the free exercise thereof. you and i cannot violate the first amendment only the government can violate the first amendment. host: time for a couple more political questions. lakeland, florida. mary, once again, on the independent line.
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caller: hi. i am 77 and i have received the social security. last two yea, we've not got to raise, and now wmay be won't get a check next month. i received an e-mail and social curity in 2003 for the 2004 election. it told me to pass it on. i did not do it because i did not know whether it was true or false. now i am asking the question, is it true or fal? perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. our senators and congressmen and women do not pay into social security and of course they do not collect from it. social security was not suitable for persons of their evaluation. they felt they should have a special plan for themselves. many years ago, they voted into their own senator plan. in more recent years, no
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congressperson has felt the need to change it. for all practical purposes, the plan works like this -- when they retire, they continue to draw the same day until they die, except it may increase from time to time for the cost-of- living adjustment. host: any specific question for our guest? caller: byrd, white -- 7,800,000 -- yep, $7,800,000, and eir wives were drawing $275,000 during the last years of their lives -- host: anything you wanto latch onto? guest: this is the reason i'm for term limits. i think our fouing fathers never had in mind career politicians. i would let theserve a maximum of 12 years and have them go
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home could to keep remembering george mcgovern's tter to "the walltreet journal," where he went bankrupt trying to run a bed-and-breakfast, he wrote a letter of apogy that appeared in "the wall strt journal," saying "when i voted for these regulations and ordinances that put a burden on small businesses, i had no idea what i was doing, and i apologize." if they could only serve for 12 years, they would not have these retirement programs. they would be in the same retirement programs as everybody else. this would make for a far more responsive congress than at the one we have now. i have been a strong supporter of term limits and will remain a supporter of term limits. in terms of your social security, the money is there to pay your social security, ma'am. if you don't get a social security check, y can blame the secretary of the treury geithner and president obama, because they will may -- will
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love me as it tries not to prioritize it sending social security checks -- will have made a choice to not privatize sending social security checks. host: what is your view of these pledges, note-tax pledges, marriage pledge? guest: i am for complete transparency to people running for office ought to say, "this is what i believe it, if you don't want that kind of senator or governor, don't elect me." this goes back to governor perry in texas calling for people to come on august 7 to houston, and you have these atheists' filing suits saying that it is unconstitutional. give me a break. the governor is a citizen just like everybody else, and he has been reelected several times by the people of texas. it is not a secret that he is an
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evangelical methodist. if he wants to call for a time of prayer, he has every right to do so and he has every right to attend, and people who do not want to go it shouldot go if people to not want that governor in texas, they would not have an elected rick. as mantimes as they have. the people elected a conscious, public christian, evangelical christian as governor in 1992 -- george bush -- george w. bush in 1996, rick perry three times after that. host: folks are waiting to see if governor perry gets into the race. if so, what does it mean? guest: this is up nearly amateur assessment because i'm not a professional partner to kidder, but this is shipping -- up i am not a professional
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prognosticator, but this is shaping up as mitt romney versus somebody. the person interested in not being a deal that is seen as republicans compromising here is that mitt romney. the establishment party rolls over for obama and takes on this -- caves on this, then romney is finished, because there will be such a backlash that no matter how much he protests, he will be caught at it the backlash. it is a fight for the other candidates to be the anti-romani candidate, and you will have a fight between romney and non- romney -- it could be michele bachmann, rick perry, herman cain, whoever did somebody will emerge. it is interesting to watch this campaign. i will make this observation -- michelle bachmann seems to get
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better almost every time she speaks. it tells me that she is a coachable, she listens. that isomething that not all politicians do, listen to criticism. host: there is a "usa today" story toy. "gop fundraisers stay on sidelines. elite fund-raisers have not yet opened their checkbooks." does that worry you? guest: no, it is the candidate's job to get them to open their checkbooks. we will see. it is a long, drawn-out process, but it does tend to work. it tends to cause the cream to rise to the top, the survivors, those who have the ability to raise the money, ability to organize the campaign brought the last time i endorsed a
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candidate, before i came to my present position, in 1988 i took a pledge that would not endorse candidates -- the last candidate endorsed for president was jack kemp. i thought jack kemp would make a very good president, but you know, he ran one of the most disorganized presidential campaigns in history. if a person cannot organize a campai, and they are not going to be able to organize and administration. host: illinois, norm, democrat for richard land. caller: you sound more like a candidate for president from the tea party than a religious leader. i wonder if you agree with some of the television evangelists and radio evangelists during the health-care debate, whether jesus would have been against the health care reform. i have been a lifelong lutheran, gone to great school in a lutheran school and graduated from the lutheran
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college. my upbringing was jesus would want anyone and everyone to take care of the poor and needy. conservatives, especially the extreme religious conservatives, seem to be the ones that go to church every single sunday, pray for the poor and weak and sick and spend the rest of the week making sure nobody does anything to help them. guest: first of all, people who identify themselves as conservatives religiously and politically give a far more of their own money to charity and to help the less fortunatehan the liberals do, and that is documented in every state and the country. the state that is the most -- gives the highest percentage of income to the poor and unfortunate is mississippi, the poorest state in the name and one of the most conservative states.
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there's a lot of documentation that that is true. the question is what works best? i am opposed to obamacare because i lived under national health in britain for three years and i know what happens. eu end up with a ration care. this last saturday on my program i had a nurse practitioner call in from arkansas who said that already they are being turned down for treatments. they request treatment and are being turned down under medicare because the person is terminal. since they are terminal, the treatment is not worth giving. they suffer and die. there is a woman going blind and that she cannot get treatment for her element that is causing her to go blind, because she is terminal. dr. berwick, put in a recess appointment ito be the head of medicare, is it in a love affair with the british system. they deny people 59.5 because it
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is not a good investment. even president obama said it was perhaps not the best use of resources to give his grandmother and a hip replacement after she was diagnosed with terminal ccer. i guess she could hobble around in panama she was dying of cancer. that is a -- not the kindh -- whilee around in pain b she was dying of cancer. that is not the kind of treatment jesus would endorse. with dr. berwick in charge of medicare, >> a little later on today, the house considers a bill to let churches merged their pension funds with other funds. that is happening at 4:15 eastern.
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to mark, house republicans will bill -- bring their own deficit- reduction plan to the full house pri it requires more than $100 billion in spending cuts this year and create mandatory caps on future government spending and requires and the debt limit increase to be contingent on congress passing a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. the house rules committee will consider that republican debt and deficit plan at 5:00 p.m. eastern time. our live coverage will be on c- span 3 and seized -- and c- span.org. president obama will make a personnel announcement shortly introducing his choice to head the new consumer financial protection bureau. the president will nominate former ohio attorney general richard cork dry. we will have live coverage in a few minutes here on c-span. president obama bypassed elizabeth warren for the job. she has been setting up the agency. she testified on capitol hill last week taking questions from
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members. legislative support micromanaging, what about legislative micromanaging? >> i'm sorry, congressman richard >> is a quote from an article you road. -- wrote. what is legislative micromanaging? to me that is and a euphemism for oversight. >> i'm sorry, i may have written it but i'm not sure what the context is. >> it is in the democracy journal.
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it is a -- an agency similar is the one you were going to head a new road and article about it and you said free of legislative micro managing, the financial products safety commission could develop nuanced regulatory response that could be bent. to some of us, legislative micromanaging is a euphemism for oversight. >> actually, i think this goes to the point that congressman a mccann it raised -- mchenry raised. we are trying to combine the forms which are complicated and hot -- and hard to read. they have very little value for consumers.
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there have been multiple members of congress trying to do this. >> my question is actually more general than that. my question is -- what is the role of legislative oversight? you do not like congressional micromanaging. you wrote that. some of us think that is congressional oversight. do you think congress has the authority and should have the authority to hypothetically set the budget for your agency? is that micromanaging or oversight? >> i am trying to respond to your question, and i was trying to point out that it was an example of how difficult it is for congress to get an appropriate, nuanced response to a specific problem. in this case, it was combining two forms. what we have been able to do as a consumer agency because agencies operate differently, we
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have been able to put out multiple iterations of the forms. we've been able to adjust and consult with groups in ways that are not possible with the legislative process. >> i think the gentleman is very happy with you doing what you are doing. i think what he is asking is if congress has a right to look over your shoulder, and if that statement indicates that congress not looking over your shoulder, second guessing your funding or in fact your actions -- that is, i think, the question, and i have not heard an answer. >> i am sorry, congressman. let me get a direct answer as i could. of course, we need to be responsible to the congress. congress should look over our shoulder 24 hours a day seven days a week, and i was trying to understood what i understood where the passage came from. i was just trying to explain what i thought that passage
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meant. >> may the record reflect that your article did not go into the detail your answer this morning went into on that nuanced point, so i will ask a lesson once question -- what about congressional involvement in your budget? is that micromanaging, or is that oversight? >> congressman, i think it is neither. i think that is a big policy and political decision. as you know, sir, not one banking regulator in the history of the united states has ever had its funding through the political process. >> so you agree that congress should not be responsible for setting the budget for your agency? >> i believe congress should treat all the banking regulators alike and not say that the one that tries to watch out for consumers is going to be put through the political process and subject to lobbying by trillion-dollar financial -- >> you did mention oversight in your opening statement, and the distinguished a woman from maryland, for my have great regard, use the term "illegal"
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seven times. has been used an additional five times since. criminal and civic and engagement with companies is another form of oversight. if these practices are illegal, why isn't eric holder sitting here with you explaining what he has done? why do we need your agency if they are already illegal? >> congressman i think there's any question about whether there has been adequate investigation into what financial -- >> what have you done with respect to attorney-general holder and the 90-plus united states attorneys, most of whom have been appointed by this administration -- what have you done to cajole them to do their jobs? i have heard the word illegal, and that has a very specific meaning to me. if it is illegal, what have you done to control the prosecutors to do something about it? >> congressman, that is what we did when we got involved in mortgage settlements and were so sharply criticized for having
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advised the department of justice and our sister agency as they are trying to work through holding responsible the parties that violated -- >> you were criticized for recurring people for criminal prosecution? >> we were criticized for trying to -- >> by whom? not me. >> congressman mchenry. >> i'm going to let congressmen mchenry speak for himself. but as a former prosecutor, when i hear the term "illegal," which i have heard 12 times this morning, i want to know why there are not criminal prosecutions. why we need an agency and the department of justice cannot do it. >> the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from tennessee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i do not have a question for the witness. i have a comment primarily aimed at the junior members of the committee on both sides of the aisle. i think all of us realize that
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this congress is viewed as dysfunctional, and i would submit that this committee is also viewed as dysfunctional, and this a legend hearing is one of the reasons why. it to easily degenerates into a partisan food fight, and it does not have to be this way. in fact, just a few years ago in congress, it was not this way. so i would urge the junior members of the committee to resist the partisan talking points that enable people on both sides of the aisle to walk in here, read a question, make a partisan hit, look like we are smart, and then leave. that is not good governance. regardless of which party is in charge. i did not vote for dog-franc -- dodd-frank. had many good features. it had some less good features. but i do not want to be part of
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a committee that at least that the subcommittee level has treated ms. warren with more rudeness and disrespect that i have ever seen a committee witness treated. that is not the american way. some of us come here and we get so used to the food fight that we wanted to continue, and you will probably score brownie points if you make your partisan hit. you might even get on a better committee. well, congratulations. you will not have solved a problem. i would suggest to the chairman and ranking member that oftentimes, a seminar format is much more instructive, much more educational than this sort of partisan share rate we seem to continue to engage in with hearings like this. i would urge members to read ms. warren's -- one of her books. i have only read "the two-income track.
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." trapp it is outstanding. you should read this book. there would be a lot less discord and anger because this lady is trying to do the right thing. we all recognize that consumers oftentimes get the short end of the stick. i have tried to refinance my home mortgage several times to take advantage of today's record low interest rates, and the paperwork is a blizzard. i went to a very good law school, and it is almost impossible for lawyers to understand this stuff. ms. warren has pointed out that existing regulatory agencies have taken over a decade to try to simplify a couple of the forms, and they have failed. what has this committee done to simplify some of the forms? nothing. is it not time for a new approach? is it not time for fresh thinking? to give the consumers a break and also acknowledge that
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congress is sometimes captured by vested interest. sometimes that happens. we need to resist that. i would urge the members of the committee, particularly the junior members who are not so entrenched in bad habits, to consider new or and fresher approach is to solve some of these problems so we can protect consumers and also give legitimate industries a fair shake because all bankers are not bad people. but i am afraid that we are falling into a rut here that is going to be not only the death of this committee and this congress but the nation. it does not have to be this way. we can be civil to each other. we can be informed. we can resist partisan talking points, but i am not seeing that sort of behavior, at least so far. so let's try to do better and try to be civil to witnesses like ms. warren. let's try to focus on the
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substance. i think she heard very little substance here today. there are better ways to solve our problems. i hope that this committee will be part of those. i thank the chairman. i see that my time is about expired. >> with the gentleman yield? >> i would be delighted. >> we have worked together a long time, and i join you in wanting this hearing and any talking points in front of any member to be about our oversight. i agree with you on the simplification. patrick mckenna reoffered a bill like that a number of years ago -- patrick mchenry offered a number of the like that -- offered a bill like that a number of years ago and i think he still supports it. we are here to discuss tododd- frank got it right for the organization, with professor warren is finding things that a poorly defined in the statute that she and her employees are trying to resolve. whether some committee --
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probably financial-services, primarily, needs to revisit to give her guidelines, additional authority, and so on. if we do our job right, and the gentleman is absolutely right -- we will be talking about an organization -- and professor warren may head, and she may not, but she is certainly the most knowledgeable witness. i have set this hearing will be about civil behavior for professor warren and about a dialogue about the agency she is putting a year of her life to in standing up, so i joined the gentleman in full agreement. >> civil discussion would be a market improvement. you are right that the committee does have substantive jurisdiction. a lot of people are rushing to conclusions here. sometimes, that is the only exercise they get. it is unfortunate that this -- >> one of the things we really
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do well here is make conclusions. >> has been treated as a partisan punching bag before she has really had a chance to serve. let's give all american citizens the benefit of the doubt. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. we now go to the gentleman from pennsylvania for five minutes. >> thank you. in my previous life, i was in the automobile business, and i know how critical it is -- the availability of credit is so critical. i have looked at your background. you have an impressive background and have devised so many people on so many things. the availability of credit is one of those things. i know automobile loans, of course often, and sometimes, they are regarded as predatory. how would your agency work towards that end? we already are governed by the ftc.
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will there be some overlap there? how will that work? >> to make sure in being responsive, and help me if i am not in the right place, and automobile loans in particular, you know that automobile dealers are not within the jurisdiction of the consumer agency? congress made that distinction in dodd-frank. so the place where we are focused -- and i just want to be clear about this -- is really about saying consumers just need to know what the price is. they need to know what the risk is, the difference between a fixed rate mortgage and a variable rate mortgage, and they need their to be less fine print so they really have a shot at comparing straight up mortgages, credit-card agreements, checking accounts, so they can actually look at those. that is the thrust of what we want to do. >> a hearing on the consumer
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financial protection bureau from last week. president obama introducing his choice to head the new agency. we are going live to the white house rose garden. the president intends to announce -- to nominate former ohio attorney general richard corporate -- cordray. >> good afternoon, everybody. it has been almost three years since the financial crisis pull the economy into a deep recession and millions of families are still hurting because of it. trying to get by on one income instead of two, on fewer shifts as the plant or at the hospital. they are cutting expenses and giving up on a family night out so there is money for groceries. for a lot of families, things were tough even before the
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recession. so we've got to get the economy growing faster and make sure that small businesses can hire again so that an entrepreneur out there can sell a new product, so the the middle class is getting stronger again so folks feel confident in their futures and their children's futures. that is why we cannot let politics stand in the way of doing the right thing in washington. we cannot stand in a way when it comes to doing the right thing on deficits, said that is why i want to take steps to make sure payroll taxes for middle-class families do not go back up next year. that is why it is important we tackle the problems that led us into this recession in the first place. one of the biggest problems was that the tables were tilted against ordinary people in the financial system. when you get a home loan, it came with pages of fine print. when you got a credit card, it was as if the contract was written in another language.
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these kinds of things open the door to unscrupulous practices. loans with hidden fees and terms that meant your rate could double overnight. it led to people getting mortgages they could not afford, and its " honest business at a disadvantage, and it encouraged dangerously risky behavior on wall street, which drag the economy into the mess we are still trying to clean up. that is why we passed financial reform a year ago. it was a common sense law that did three things. it may taxpayer funded bailout illegal. so taxpayers do not have to foot the bill that a big bank goes under. second, it said to wall street firms, "you cannot take the same kind of reckless risks that led to the crisis." third, it put in place the strongest consumer protections in history. to make sure that these protections worked so ordinary people were dealt with fairly so
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they could make informed decisions about their finances, we did not just change the law. we changed the way government did business. for years, the job of protecting consumers was divided up in a lot of different agencies. if you had a problem with a mortgage lender, you had -- you call one place. a problem with a credit card company, you called somewhere else. it meant there were a lot of people who were responsible, but that meant nobody was responsible. we changed that. we cut the bureaucracy and put one consumer watchdog in charge with just one job -- looking out for regular people in the financial system. this is an idea i got from elizabeth warren, who i first met years ago. this was long before the financial crisis. elizabeth was sounding the alarm on predatory lending and the financial pressures on middle- class families. in the years since, she has become perhaps the leading voice
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in our country on behalf of consumers. let's face it -- she has done it while facing some very tough opposition and drawing a fair amount of heat. fortunately, she is very top. that is why i asked elizabeth warren to set up this new bureau. over the past year, she has done an extraordinary job. already, the agency is starting to be a bunch of things that will be important for consumers, making sure loan contracts and credit card terms are simpler and written in plain english. already, thanks to the leadership of the bureau, we're seeing men and women in uniform getting more protections against fraud and deception when it comes to financial practices. and as part of a charge, and i asked elizabeth to find the best possible choice for director of the bureau, and that is who we found in richar cordray -- richard cordray. he has held stand up the
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bureau's enforcement division over the past few months. i should also point out that he took this job, which meant be away from his wife and 12-year- old twins back in ohio because he believed so deeply in the mission of the bureau. prior to this, as ohio's attorney general, rich helped recover billions of dollars in things like pension funds on behalf of retirees and stepped up the state's efforts against unscrupulous lending practices. he has also served as ohio treasurer and has successfully work with people across the ideological spectrum, democrats and republicans, banks and consumer advocates. last but not least, back in the 1980's, richard was also a five- time jeopardy champion and a semifinalist in the tournament of champions. not too shabby. that is why all his answers at the confirmation hearings will be in the form of a question.
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that is a joke. [laughter] i am proud to nominate richard cordray to this post. we have recently been reminded why this job will be so important. there is an army of lobbyists and lawyers working to water down for texans and reforms we passed. they have already spent tens of millions of dollars this year to try to weaken the law's designed to protect consumers, and they have allies in consumers trying to undo the progress we have made. we will not let that happen. the fact is the fine edge of crisis and recession were not the result of normal economic cycles or a run of bad luck. they were abuses. there was a lack of smart regulations. we are not going to shrug our shoulders and hope it does not happen again. we are not going back to the status quo where consumers could not count on getting protections
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they deserve. we are not going to go back to a time when our economy was vulnerable to a financial crisis. that is why reform matters. that is why this bureau matters. i will fight any efforts to repeal or undermine the important changes we have passed, and we will stand up this bureau and make sure it is doing the right thing for middle-class families in the country. middle-class families do not have teams of lawyers from blue- chip law firms. they cannot afford to hire lawyers to look out for their interest, but they deserve to be treated honestly. they deserve a basic measure of protection against abuse. they should not have to be a corporate lawyer in order to read something they are signing to take out a mortgage or get a credit card. that ought to be free to make informed decisions to buy a home or take out a credit card and make sure with confidence that they are not being swindled, and that is what this consumer bureau will achieve.
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i look forward to working with richard cordray. i want to thank elizabeth and tim geithner for the work they have done over a treasury to make sure that a year after we passed this law, it is already having an impact, and it will have in fact for years to come. thank you very much, and congratulations, rich. >> [inaudible] >> president obama and congressional lawmakers have not reached agreement on a debt and deficit plan. republicans will bring their own plan to the full house tomorrow. it ties raising the debt ceiling to passing a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. the house committee considers what amendments if any will be allowed to the republican plan. we will have that meeting live at 5:00 eastern on c-span3 and
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c-span.org. >> have you ever visited the library of congress? over 2 million people have, and this is your chance to tour the world's largest library. tonight, join c-span for a rare glimpse inside the library of congress. we will take you into the great hall and explore the main reading room. you will find unique books in rare books and special collections, including original books from thomas jefferson's personal collection, and we will see how the library is using modern technology to discover hidden secrets and reserve holdings for future generations. join us for the library of congress tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. >> on this morning's "washington journal," the health policy correspondent for national public radio talk about the medicare program. julie rovner is back at our table.
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she is health policy correspondent for national public radio, talking about medicare spending reductions, but something specifically known as the independent payment advisory board. sounds like an awful, but it is an important thing for us to know -- sounds like a mouthful, but it is an important thing for us to now. guest: it is going to be a 15- member commission, appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate. they will make recommendations for how to restrain medicare spending if and only if it medicare spending is anticipated to be above a certain threshold. there are different thresholds from 2015 to 2020 and after that. i won't get into them. it is how much medicare spending is expected to exceed a certain amount. the board does not make its first recommendation until 2013, which is why the board does not exist yet brought those from --
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which is why the board is not exist yet. it has become extremely controversial. basically, it would take place of the existing board -- medicare payment advisory commission -- and the difference between ipab and medpac is that medpac makes recommendations every year, recommendations for how medicare should pay health- care providers, home health agencies, and congress gets this book, and they read through it, and they say, very good, and they put it on the shelf and nothing is ever heard from its. ipab would be binding on congress unless congress votes to overrule them, and they would have a short period of time in which to do them, 2.5 months. in the senate, they need a 60- vote majority to overrule them, and would have to make other recommendations that would meet the same spending targets.
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the idea behind this is that congress has a lot of trouble making spending reductions in medicare, so they are basically punting it to avoid, similar to the base closure commission's that congress has used the last couple of decades to close military bases that they no longer need. that was the whole idea behind ipab g. there are lots of people, not just republicans who don't like the health-care law in general, but democrats, scholars, who don't like the idea of congress from our responsibility for major decisions on medicare spending to unelected bureaucrats, as they a call them, which basically these people would be. host: julie rovner is npr health policy correspondent and has visited the program many times. we have lines for democrats and republicans and independents talking about medicare and ipab,
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independent and advisory board. a decent amount of power there to this new committee. guest: a lot of power. host: how did initially come about, the idea for this panel? guest: a lot of people made recommendations, democrats made recommendations. tom daschle, before he was thought about as secretary of health and human services, wrote a book as majority leader in the senate. i sat around any number of budget reconciliation bills where you get a group lawmakers, members of the house and senate, citing health care minutia that decisions about how doctors and hospitals and nurses should be paid, that should they pay in 15-minute increments? you get the feeling that these are members of congress making rather medical decisions about how people should be paid.
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they are making these decisions behind closed doors, but are coming out and telling us reporters that we should not be making these kinds of decisions, people who are more expert than we should be making these kinds of decisions. their lobbyists, and they are trying to get them to do one thing or another, and they are uncomfortable with making these decisions. they wis that there were people more expert in health policy making them. part of the motivation is that, and the idea behind ipab is that these will be experts in health policy. one person's bureaucrat is another person's expert. the way ipab would work is that unlike medpac, the members of ipab will be government employees and would not be allowed to have other jobs. that is one thing that is potentially problematic about it, that people who talk perhaps expert enough to hold these jobs might not want to work up for the government for a six-year job that only pays the top of
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the senior detective $165,000. if you are an expert dr. making several hundred thousand dollars a year, do you want to quit your practice to work for the government, or if you are an expert health care economist? you can only serve a maximum of two times, he might have to blow up your career to do this, and you will get lobbied like crazy. one of the question is who is going to want to come to this? -- come do this? host: we will hear from congressman ryan first and kathleen sebelius, hhs secretary, on the independent advisory board. >> if we simply give up 15 people the ability to unilaterally under pay providers, and we see where this is headed, what is going to end up happening is that providers are going to gut medicare. i don't know what you call that, but it is rationing under a different word. if you say, a provider, we will
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not pay anything close to what cost to provide the service, they will not provide the service. >> mr. chairman, first of all, ipab does not come into effect unless congress has not taken action. congress is in the driver's seat. ipab makes recommendations of the spending trends are on target -- >> it is a super majority vote to prevent that, though, correct? >> only if congress has not proceede -- preceded ipab. if congress has paid attention to the bottom line of medicare, ipab is a relevant and it never triggers in -- is irrelevant and never triggers in. guest: it is one of the big concerns. in the statute, it says that ipab is very constrained in what
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it may recommend, and that it may not ration care or at costs to a beneficiaries pay. it can only recommend changes to provider payments. congress is concerned that if you cut provider payments to much, they will stop taking medicare patients. that is a real concern. we see that in what happened in the balanced budget act passed in 1997, with physician payments, they set up this new formula and it worked for a couple of years and since then it has not worked very well. there were recommended cuts to physician and payments and congress has put it off again and again and again and they have dug this huge hole. to fix the problem would cost $300 billion. there is aware that the same thing could happen with ipab, that although congress cannot make the cuts go away, they would have to make other cuts. although it says explicitly you cannot ration care, there is the worry about cutting payments
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to much. what the secretary is putting out, also correct, is that if congress keeps its eyes on medicare spending in general, ipab will never come into play. the latest report from the congressional budget office says that medicare spending is on a ipab now to not need ithe recommendation until after 2021. they would not have to recommend any cuts. what the congressmen is saying is correct and what the secretary is saying is correct. host: first call, kenny, democrat. caller: you know, the problem with medicare is that it is an insurance pool of people that are all older and more prone to disease and more expensive procedures. now, it would be like having an insurance pool, auto insurance pool of nothing but teenage drivers.
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pool to xpand that ru include junger people, not force them to, who could buy into the program voluntarily, you take the risk and you would spread it out. you not have just a pool who need -- you would not have just a pool of people who need all these services. would save medicare would be totally expand it and do a it like the va does, where you negotiate pharmaceutical prices, have your own hospital and doctors. for some reason, it the republicans are against this. it is a lot like a british medical system, but you know what, it would be a lot better than what we have now. guest: the caller is right that the reason for medicare is that older people tend to be more
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expensive and most providers don't want to take them. that is one of the reasons, ironically, there is a lot of talk in the debt discussions about why raising the eligibility age for medicare to 67 rather than 65 -- interestingly, that would save the government money but end up costing the entire health system money, because what you would then do is take the youngest, healthiest people out of medicare and keep them in private insurance. the private insurance system would become the oldest people on the private insurance system, he would make that risk pools sicker and make the medicare risk pool sicker because you take the youngest, healthiest people out of the risk pool. take -- you save money for the federal government to make both risk pools sicker at the same time a. this is why the government took
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on medicare, but this is another concern about ipab, which is that if ipab is only going to make recommendations about medicare, those are not binding. the medicare recommendations are binding, and that is another concern, that if you are just sitting money in medicare and not the rest of the health-care system, you could disadvantage medicare. host: jonathan, good morning. caller: good morning. ms. rovner, i enjoy listening to you on npr and it is nice seeing you in the flesh for a change. guest: thank you. caller: in the entire public debate, i have not seen -- maybe it is behind closed doors -- i have not seen any addressing of the issues of the physicians' costs having ultimately to do with tort reform, redundancies of the practice of defensive
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medicine. that is number 1. why is it that when we look at price and reimbursements, we don't look at physicians costs? no. 2, how to deal with the end of life without calling the institution that is what? i want to give you a little example -- the institution death squads? i want to give you a little example. my father died of an incurable brain cancer. the diagnosis was absolutely fatal. yet medicare paid for almost $80,000 in radiation therapy that was wasted. i told my mother, this is a waste of money, this is ridiculous. but it made everybody feel good, the government paid for it. ok, i'm finished. please proceed. guest: as for the issue of doctors' costs, there has been a lot of discussion about doctor'' costs. there is a lot of disagreement about the cost of defensive
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medicine, how much tort reform would fix the matter. the consensus is that there needs to be tort reform because of medical malpractice is doesn't work very well. but even if you fix the medical malpractice system, it would have an enormous debt on the problem of health care spending. is an important issue to fix, but the much every study has come out with somewhere in the debora of 1-2% of health-care spending -- somewhere in the neighborhood of 1-2% of health- care spending. it is not as huge a driver of health care spending as a lot of people think it is or as doctors make it out to be. doctors have issues and i have done a number of stories, and are an awful lot of studies about this. as for end-of-life studies, that is a bigger driver, but where do you draw the line, where does this become rationing?
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obviously, some diagnoses are inevitably fatal, but some are not. a lot of end-of-life spending you only know in retrospect. some people die and ended up spending cuts of thousands of dollars, but some of those people also live. you do not know when the end of life is before that. it is a very difficult issue. an awful lot of medical ethicists and economists are looking at it, but unless you are going to actually have death panels, which everybody thinks is not a good idea, it is difficult to know. host: our guest is the author of a book "health care politics and policy a through z" and has contributed to several other books. she has also worked as a contributing editor for "national journal" and is the health policy correspondent for
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npr right now. scott, independent, wall chum to the program -- welcome to the program. can't hear you too well. he must be on a cell phone or something. maxine in tampa, democrat. caller: i was in a hospital in tampa a couple of months ago. i am a medicare recipient, and i went in with severe stomach pains. when i was there, i contacted an infection where they incident and needle into my arm. i happened to call medicare to ensure that it would not be on my bill. i come to find out that they told me to write and get an itemized statement from the hospital, which i did. when i received this itemized statement, they had medication on the bill that i never
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received. they also had all this blood culture work, antibiotics, everything related to the infection i received in a hospital that bill. i told medicare that we should not have to pay that. in the meantime, it has hospital doctors. my primary doctors don't go into hospital. this one particular doctor that was my primary one in the hospital came in, and each one of those days he had a different charge on my bill. he never spent more than five minutes, if that much, in my room. yet he would charge $202, $150 -- $250, $150. windy he did not show up at all and there was a charge on the bill for that day -- one day he
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did not show up at all and there was a charge on the bill for that day. i had to call the inspector general to explain that brought both medicare was looking into the charges on the bill -- they even had be in there with an observation room, $9,000. i had never been in the observation room. host: maxine explaining your experience. question for julie rovner? caller: i think more people need to pay attention to their bills, i think that is the problem with medicare spending. host: julie rovner? guest: medicare is trying to urge patients to basically be their own watchdog. hospitals in deep do not get paid for a number of -- hospitals indeed to not get paid for a number of these infections that occur at a hospital. there are a list -- there are lists of things for which
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hospitals are docked. a specific infection is indeed one of them for which hospitals are required to pay themselves. it is an effort to hospitals improve quality. -- to have hospitals improve quality. it is a matter of certain fairness that the hospital should be responsible for that, but also to get hospitals to put in policies -- obviously, things can happen, but there should be -- it is dangerous for the patient, not just an inconvenience. obviously, doctors who practice in the hospital -- that may not be a fraudulent charge. that doctor may have been overseeing many things and you may not necessarily see the doctor in prison for the doctor to oversee the case. but things like in fact -- you may not necessarily see the doctor in person for the doctor to oversee the case. but things like infections in a hospital.
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host: 15 members, full-time jobs -- guest: 6-year terms. host: the president nominates all of them. guest: 12 of them -- three are nominated with the conjunction with the speaker the house, majority leader of the senate -- host: horsetrading, if you will? guest: none of them have actually been appointed yet. there is no talk really of names yet. it is a little bit early. host: they are not allowed to ration care or increased taxes or premiums or change medicare benefits and eligibility? where to the savings come from? guest: basically from provider cuts. from now until 2019, at they are not allowed to touch any providers who, in other places in the health-care law, are being cut. they are not allowed to go after
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hospitals or hospices or -- i think it is home health agencies -- for the first four viers. it is a pretty small group. presumably, they will not be able to go after documents until any care results the old doctor payment issue. doctors for separate reasons are looking at 25% cut next year that probably is not going to happen, but that is a whole separate issue. there is not a whole lot you can go to for doctors. basically, it is a pretty small menu that ipab is going to have to choose from. host: back to paul ryan's point from earlier in the segment. chattanooga, tennessee. caller: on medicare, what happens whenever this obamacare, which the stairs me to death, is that they already said it is going to be 500 -- is it billion
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dollar cuts to medicare? they need to make the laws we have on the books stand and do something about them instead of trying to make new laws all the time. it concerns every citizen of the united states. host: john, independent caller bank for julie rovner -- caller for julie rovner. caller: before we get started, i want to tell you i have a dog in the fight. i'm a physician in the vancouver area. i don't think the general public realizes that in the contracts i find with blue cross blue shield and other insurance companies, they pay me based on a percentage of what medicare pays. if medicare rates drop, and guess what happens to me with my in, with other insurance companies? they dropped. there is an issue with a physician's there. the other problem i ran into as
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well is that i run into patients at willing to spend a little bit more out of pocket to stay with me, but it is getting harder and harder for me as a practitioner and small business owner to keep up with the costs for migy clients, tests for my employees, my equipment costs and other things. i don't think those aspects are taken into consideration when these debates occur. host: what would you say to the doctor? guest: one of the issues is the uncertainty. congress had to deal with this will they or what they cut physician spending -- i think five times in 12 months. we were talking earlier about the malpractice issue, which may or may not be a big issue, but as this physician points out, many of them are small business people, they have the staff to pay, nurses to pay, and they cannot figure out whether they
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will be able to pay their bills. medicare is proving to be an unreliable business partner. that is a much bigger issue, and that is something that medicare needs to deal with. host: here is a tweet. good question. guest: very good question. the patient who called earlier who had been in a hospital pointed out that if she got an infection from an iv, that is something you can figure out is not something that is supposed to happen. host: orlando, joseph, a democrat for julie rovner. caller: good morning, julie. i a question regarding whether or not this new commission is going to address the issue of flaws in medicare. if i could run by you two quick examples that i have read about. both of these come from "the new
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york times," and it is in a couple of years since i read about them. the first one explains that certain hospitals were in a sense keeping two sets of books, one that overcharged medicare maybe by millions of dollars, and they got paid that money, they set aside for a few years, waited to see if the government investigated and. it they and did not, they kept the money. if they did get investigate, they just said "oops, here is your money," and it would be no consequence. the second example actually involves the russian mafia, where they were contacting retired or elderly doctors no longer working but still had significant -- whatever they were referred to as -- and they would bite medicare members from patients and incorporate some kind of sophisticated fraud where it they charged medicare and that millions of dollars.
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if they started to be investigated, it would close up shop and go somewhere else. host: how would ipab deal with fraud? guest: that is not their job. there are other provisions that to deal with fraud. the justice department and the inspector general of the department of health and human services are doing more than ever before to go after health- care fraud. the bad news is that there is so much money in health care that is a magnet for people who would like to defraud the programs. it is hard to keep up with. host: maria is on the line for republicans. caller: i want to talk about fraud also, because my mother, an elderly mother, was in a nursing home. she died there, and she was deceased about six months when i realized that the nursing home was still charging her as a
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patient there. i had to notify medicare and medicaid. i don't remember which one shoe was on at that time because she had gone through her money and had to be switched over. again, i think fraud is a big problem. there is not too much oversight -- i don't know if that nursing- home it purposely or accidentally. they have a lot of patients. but i was appalled when i found out they were still charging my mother, charging the government for my mom. host: anything you want to add their? guest: no, but the best thing people can do is look at your bills. if you think there's something wrong, there is lots and lots and lots of toll-free numbers to report it to. in the most extreme cases, there are whistle-blower lawsuits where if you can prove fraud, you can get a portion of
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proceeds the government recovers. host: a republican from tennessee has legislation to repeal ipab, and it has some co- sponsors, some of them democrats. where is this ad? -- where is this headed? guest: not clear. not many democrats, a bleak eight at last count. -- i believe eight at last count. . ipab is controversy. there is a provision to repeal, although it would need 8 supervisi -- it would need a super majority in the house and senate. at the moment, ipab is not even necessarily going to be needed. it is complicated with projections of the spending. we should see where the debt ceiling negotiations come out, if there are any medicare changes that come out of that first before we get to these
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kinds of changes. it probably is in line after several other things. host: i was going to ask about timing. when does the time come for us, and he was, regular folks, to know when -- viewers, regular folks, to know when ipab goes into effect? guest: we will start to see names floating around, and how difficult it will be for them to confirm members, like with the banking consumer board -- they have not even been able to confirm anyone to head cms. it will be hard to tell exactly how controversial this will become. host: texas, jody, democrat for julie rovner. caller: my question for the nice lady -- hello? host: you are on the air. caller: i am jody from dallas.
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how are you today? host: we are doing fine. what is your question? caller: i want to know if the medicare and manage plans -- medicare advantage plans -- hello? host: keep going. caller: they say you don't have to pay anything, and you got all of this medicare -- how can these companies do that? who is paying it? all you are supposed to take is 90-something dollars a month for social security. you know, that they take out of your check. that is really screwing the government out of money. all these businesses that have the medicare advantage plan, that is the ones that have taken the money away from medicare. why can't we cut them out?
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i have mutual of omaha. it costs 700 a month. why is it that these other people are getting there is for nothing? guest: in fact, they are cutting medicare advantage plans, and medicare advantage plans are not happy about that. the short answer the question is that the government is playing -- is paying the extra to the medicare advantage planted this is something very specific republicans did in the 2003 prescription drug law, gave the plans extra money to get people to join them. that is how they were able to offer those extra benefits. in the health law last year, they took away a lot of extra money, not all of it, but a lot of it. a lot of the plants are not very happy about that. a lot of people in those plans getting the extra benefits are not happy about it. that is one of the things that ipab could you, take more money
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from those plans. host: jack, you are on the air. caller: i would like ms. rovner's comment on the fact that doctors, especially surgeons, in america make a four-six times what surgeons do in european countries. is it about time that they share a little bit of the burden of our situation -- of our economic situation? again, this is not family practitioners. they are about on par. this is what was said by one former guest on c-span. i would like ms. rovner's comment on that. i will take my answer off line. guest: in a lot of european countries, dr. training is also paid for quite differently. dthey don't come out of the training programs with quite the debt load from student loans that doctors here do.
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you can argue what you want about what they are earning later in their careers, but today in the u.s., doctors come out with enormous student loans. at some point, and they have to be able to pay this back for what doctors should earn -- that is the should be able to pay those back. what doctors should are, that is a decision for society to make, certainly above my pay grade. mississippi.rom caller: good morning to each and every one of you. back in 1977, had a triple bypass done. the doctor that it might triple bypass charged me with a $10,000 pacemaker, which i never received. that i got to looking on my itemized bill, and i see where he charged me for all of the
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visits. he did not even show up, because he had left and went out of town, and that dr. taking his place did not know he was supposed to be taking his place. i was there a solid week without even seeing a doctor. i called medicare and i told them, i said, look, there is something fishy about this hospital bill here. i am not understanding it, because the they charge me with $10,000 pacemakers, they charge me doctor's visits, and i had not seen at doctor in a solid week. guest: again, is always a good thing -- sometimes you are not in any position to look over your bill, but it is always, good thing if you can to look over bills and report anything
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that seems to be an inconsistency. host: on this ipab issue, is there anything we have not addressed we need to know about? guest: no, i think we've pretty much covered it. [laughter] host: ann, if you could be brief. caller: i have about three things with her. first of all, she kind of confused me about paying medicare. it sounds like young people don't pay in it. i know for a fact that everybody pays into medicare, young and old, as long as you are working, and you still pay for it after you retire when you draw medicare, because it comes out of your social security check. that is what happened to my husband, and also why we are working. but the suggestion is why doesn't medicare send an itemized bill of what -- that they received from the doctors
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and hospitals to show the list of all the medicines and doctors' names and treatments, because they would save a lot of costs in the long run, and also it would be easier for them to check into -- host: thank you, ann. final thoughts. guest: medicare does send itemized bills. the caller is actually correct about how medicare financing works. when you are working, you pay medicare part a, payroll tax. once you are on medicare, you pay the premiums for medicare part b. >> have you ever visited the library of congress? over 2 million people have, and
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now this is your chance to tour the world's largest library. tonight, join c-span for a rare glimpse inside the library of congress. we will take you into the great hall and explore the main reading room. you will find unique books and rare books in special collections, including original books from thomas jefferson's personal collection, and you will see how the library is using modern technology to discover hidden secrets and preserve its holdings for future generations. join us tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. >> the house is coming in for a brief session little on today. more work for club 15 eastern time. the bill considered with black churches merged pension funds with other funds. but 6:30 eastern. tomorrow, the house will bring their own debt and deficit plan.
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requires more than $100 billion in spending cuts. they are requiring any debt limit increase to be contingent on congress passing a balanced budget amendment.
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the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. the chaplain: the chaplain: let us pray. we give you thanks, oh god, for giving us another day. please help us to use it well. we ask your blessings upon this assembly and upon all to whom the authority of government is given. help them meet their responsibilities during these days to attend to the immediate needs and concerns of the moment, all the while enlightened by the majesty of your creation and your eternal spirit. we give you thanks that we all can know and share the fruits of your spirit, especially in this time, the virtues of tolerance and reconciliation, of justice and righteousness, of goodwill and understanding, of patience and loving care of others. watch over this house and cause
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your blessing to be upon each member that they might serve all the people with sincerity and truth. may all that is done within the people's house this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to his house the approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. >> mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker pro tempore: the -- the speaker: the question is on the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. to the ayes visit. >> i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that the quorum is not present. the speaker: pursuant to clause
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8 of rule 20, further proceedings are postpone thsmed epledge of allegiance will be led by mr. wilson. mr. wilson: everyone, including the gallery, please join in. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: i ask permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection. mr. willson: mr. speaker, over the weekend, concerned constituents advised me they are tired of hearing politicians grandstand about fixing the nation's debt ceiling. the current administration's shown it would rather grand stand than propose ben official
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measures. americans voted for washington's to cut spending. liberals want to impose more revenues, washington-speak for more job-killing taxes. in august of 2009 then-senator barack obama stated, quote, raising taxes in a recession is the last thing you want to do, end of quote. that is marleauly true today as over 14 million americans are without jobs. the president's policies oborrow and spend have stale -- have fail and we must change course. this debt crisis is the result of washington spending money. tomorrow, i hope depps will join us to vote for the positive proposal to create more jobs. in conclusion, glod bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee. >> i request permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> in all the debate about the debt ceiling, the biggest falsehood is republicans want to protect millionaires and billionaires. millionaires and billionaires can take care of themselves and they come out ahead when government gets too big. republicans lose the wealthy areas by two to one margins or more. the least economical, least efficient way to spen money is to turn it over to the federal government. look at how little good the $862 billion stimulus did. unemployment went up. every dollar that can be kept in the private sector will do much more to protect -- create jobs and keep prices down. the ones who will benefit from more money in the private sector will be middle and lower income working people. if this wasn't true, the soviet union and cuba would have been heaven on earth.
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it is not about protected billionaires, not in the least. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina. -- the gentlelady from north carolina. ms. foxx: i request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. foxx: i'd like to associate my colleague -- myself with my colleague from tennessee, i agree with everything he said. why is our debt ceiling too high, we are leaving the tab for future generations to pick up. the only way out is reducing spending since at least 40 cents of every tchar we're spending is added directly to the national debt. despite what our friends on the other side of the aisle would say, raising tax rates and con 23iss kate manager money isn't a solution. that ignores the reality that washington has a chronic overspending problem not an
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underspending problem. we need to stop spending money we don't have. we have to start cutting spending and we've got to start it now. i yield back. the chair: the -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. right now this united states congress is writing post-dated checks on an overdrawn account. we're on a path of fiscal destruction. we may be lucky that we have a statutory debt limit. mr. burgess: it forces both of us, the legislative an executive branches of government, to sit down and have the hard discussions necessary to our nation's history. does anyone believe we would not be here having these discussions if we we did not have to. there's going to be a bill on
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the floor this week called cut, cap, and balance, it allows the president to expand the debt limit, caps spending, cuts current spenting and allows for a vote on the balanced budget amendment. the president issued a veto threat today. i think that's unfortunate. he's refused to offer any plan of his own, anything with the barest of detail the president has failed to provide. we all wonder what's happening in the other body this country doesn't need more debt, it needs more jobs. dealing with these important issues is what we need to do and then let americans do what they do best. create, innovate and lead. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> a short time ago, the president issued an administration policy statement saying that he would vee vito
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cut, cap and balance. mr. chaffetz: he said, quote, instead of pursuing an empty political statement and unrealistic policy goal, it is necessary to move beyond politics as usual and find bipartisan common ground. all we ask for as we plans our budget, for the president to suggest that balancing our budget is not common ground, does provide clarity. this president has no plan to balance our budget. the budget that he submitted never balances. in fact, it doubles and triples the debt. we are asking if the president wants to raise the debt ceil, we must solve the underlying problem. the underlying problem is we're borrowing, taxing and spending too much in this country. the president said passing a balanced budget amendment will likely leave the nation's seniors to have a dig fied retirement.
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this country will be bankrupt. we're spend, borrowing too much money. we can no longer borrow 40 cents out of every dollar. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded to address their remarks to the chair. the gentleman from florida. >> mr. speaker, unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, we're here today because this country has a spending addiction. my 36-plus years in law enforcement told me when someone has an addiction you have to first address and admit you have a problem. mr. speaker, there is a bill that's coming up this week called cut, cap, and balance. the important part of that bill is the balance part. this nation needs a balanced budget amendment just like 49 states that make up this great union have a balanced budget amendment. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, there's been a threat laid upon
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us that there'll be a veto laid upon us if they pass this. mr. speaker, unless we address our addiction to spending, we will never, ever get to a point where the children that we have sitting in the audience, those that are sitting here that have children are never going to be table to -- able to pass on a greater opportunity to them like was passed on to me by my parents. mr. speaker, i appreciate and waive the plans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule
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>> also, what amendments, if any, would be allowed in the republican plan. we will have that meeting at 5:00 eastern on c-span at3 and .-span.org gue hav have you ever visited the library of congress? this is your chance to visit the world's largest library. we will take you into the great hall and explore the main reading room. you will find unique books and special collections, including original box from thomas jefferson's personal collection. you will see how the library is
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using modern technology to discover hidden secrets and preserve its holdings for future generations. join us for "the library of congress" tonight at 8:00 eastern and pacific. >> tonight on "the communicators," fcc commissioner robert mcdowell on actions this week to begin cracking down on unauthorized service charges on phone bills. that and other issues in front of the fcc tonight on "the communicator's" on c-span2. on the senate side of the capital, oklahoma senator tom coburn of his by $9 trillion over the next decade -- his plan to cut the deficit by $9 trillion over the next decade. groups like firedoglake are organizing people across the country to visit offices of their senators and
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representatives tomorrow. the purpose is to show social security and medicare cuts -- show their opposition to them. "washington journal" talked to the blog's founder. blog, jane hamsher. we are talking about the future of spending in this country. guest: we have been organizing around the attempts to cut social security benefits. it looks like they are really going to do something this time. we are asking people to go to thr local congress office and tell their member of congress that they oppose it. host: how big will it be? guest: we have already had it thousand people commit to doing this. people are concerned understandably. they need to put a face to it.
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host: what darker thoughts on the idea of a balanced budget and how to get there? guest: i think- the conclusion of a family budget and the united states government is probably not the best way to look at what we are doing right now. i think cutting programs, especially domestic spending programsare bad for the economy. most economists would agree with it. host: how fired up are y and your people about this issue? guest: i think social security is a defining issue for those that define themselves as democrats. the willingness of this president and congress to go after it changes what the
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democratic party stands for. host: here are the numbers to call to speed withjane hamsher. they are at e bottom -- to speak with jane hamsher. they are at the bottom of your screen. here is a little bit of president obama from friday. >> this is tough on the democratic side as well. some of the things i spoke about and said i would be willing to see happen, there are some democrats think it is unacceptable. i am trying to sell that if you are a progressive, you should be concerned about debt and deficit, just as much as if you e a conservative. the only thing we are talking about over the next year or so
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is debt and deficit, then it is hard to start talking about how to make investments in community colleges so our kids are trained. how to be rebuilt to dollar trillion worth of structures? if you care about making investment in our kids and in the structure, and basic research, then you should want ever fiscal house in order, so that every time we propose a new initiative, someone does not throw up their hands and say more government, more fixed spending. host: you wrote we must act now to save social security and medicare. what should we be thinking and feeling right now, which is to adopt a liberal policy.
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tell us more. est: no matter what the president does, there is always going to be someone raising their hand. . do you hope to cut enough out of social security and medicare? they just passed a continuation of the bush tax cut last year. that is what punched a hole in this deficit. to handle one without the other , and lower taxes on people and now fight this battle on raising taxes, and to cut so security and medicare is a problem for americans that overwhelmingly oppose it. many agreehat this is not the way to handle this.
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it is like a rabbit came to try to cut social security and medicare. the republicans have offered to clean debt ceiling increase with no cuts. host: when you hear the phrase, shared sacrifice, what does it mean? guest: it seems to mean shared between the poor and the elderly. what we are looking at is probably a commission that could not come to an agreement, but was in support of cutting social security and medicare. president obama said he put
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support the cuts, but would not support the defense cuts. host: first call is from wyoming, a republican. caller: thanks for being there. i always appreciate c-span. i will get to the point and take any comments he may have often the air. why do people from the left and never state the facts that sells a security reforms that have been talked about in recent ars to not touch anybody 55 years or older? that is one question. then, social security will become insolvent down the road. everyone on both sides of the aisle agrees on that. they never want to mention the
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reasons why this might be necessary. although we all pay into social security, in this day and age, people take in more than they ever paid in. guest: 55 years or younger, that is not true. they are talking about a cost- of-living adjustment and the way they calculate it. social security has plenty of money and it is absolutely solvent. the gornment is obligated to pay . it will not become insolvent. the treasury notes that ar in there are good.
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there are the same that everyone else has across the world. unless you say the government is not. to pay its debt, which i do not think people want to do -- unless you are saying that the government should not pay its debt, i do not think any of those arguments work. host: our guest is the founder of fired lake blog. about 30 minut longer. democrat, next. caller: i was wondering if you have had thehance to look at a bill proposed that a congressman from pennsylvania made.
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it deals with taxes. i have a comment about the tea party. they want to take us back to 1958. some white anglo-saxon protestants nt to be in charge of everything and know their place. i would remind them to read the american dollar bill, where it has the phrase in at 10,e pluribus unum. -- phrase in latin, e pluribus unum. i do not understand why they want to take us back there.
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guest: some believe we should cut down so security benefits and medire it is ironic that both parties are conspiring to do this, when the american public does not want that. host: one person talk about consumption tax. there is a lot on the table on the tax issue. any particular aspect you want to see? guest: i want to see them protect security and medicare benefits. i think there are several wars that are not free that we should start talking about that the american people are not in support of any more. congress seems to be ignorant of what the american people want. th do not want so security and medicare benefits cut in order to balance the budget and cut
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the deficit. they will -- they want to see cut in other places. host: how are they dealing with the speaker and minority leader? guest: mitch mcconnell came out with a proposal but we will offer up a clean debt ceiling vote with no spending cuts attached. the president did not like it, beuse it had three branches of increase that he would have to take personal responsibility for. nancy pelosi and hillary reid said they support it. she was taking part in the debt ceiling negotiations. when john boehner said on friday that he would not be going to camp david, because the
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but house was considering negotiations there, nancy pelosi said the same thing. her role in all of this is weird right now. she seems to be ructant to impose this vote. host: new jersey, independent. caller: i do not agree with you about having some cuts to social security and other expenses. there should be cuts on a lot of wasted programs in the government. we cannot just continue our spending. it is out of control. 40 cents of every dollar is spent -- it is to sustain our
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lifestyle. the comment about taking a clean vote for the debt ceiling. that is a cop out. congress needs tdo their job. they need to make these hard choices. we will have to increase taxes on the wealthy. they are paying 14% that is ridiculous. we have to raise taxes on the rich. look, we're going to have to make some cuts. some of the cuts they're talking about are not great. i do not think he should cut such as security, butf you have to, compromise to get a big deal done, that isine. education is a bad cut. right now we're falling further and further behind the rest of the world in education. if they have to make some sort of cuts there, you may have to
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do it. we may not even have a country to worry about if we continue the way we are. host: thank you. we get the point. guest: i do not agree we have to make cuts to social security or medicare and neither does the rest of the country. i agree the wealthy should pay more. i do not think we should have extended the bush tax cuts for them last year. i was in support of drawing the line at $1 million. the president was anxious to do a deal and that is why we are here. host: talking about nancy pelosi, you're not sure why nancy pelosi is not opposing the vote on the caucus. what do you mean? guest: i am not sure what is going on. they are probably going to jam a vote on them that forces them to have a mission. a debt commission that the
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president very much wanted have in congress voted against last year. i think it was in 2009. that is why the president appointed the deficit commission. this is something that congress does when they wanted to the unpopular things. it is what they did when they did the base closings. no individual senators or member of congress wanted to take responsibility for that, so they had a commission, but the set of recommendations with an up or down vote with no possibility of amendment. i think that is the way that will finally cut medicare and social security. it is very undemocratic. what they're basically saying, we're not on use congressional process. we're going to not use the normal rules of order to do something that is incredibly unpopular. host: here is an advertisement called "jam session." >> today's seniors undetand the benefits of social security and medicare. they know these programs will be
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st as important for future generations, so why is washington talking about benefit cuts? stand with us and tell congress, don't cut so security and medicare. because we pay into these programs with every paycheck and americans of all ages in the security these benefits provide. host: jane hamsher, your effts specifically to mark to express opposition, you talk aut 2000 people pledging support? >> i think that was from friday. i think we have more now. we're asking people to visit their member of congress tomorrow. president obama says we have to eat a ourpeas. -- eat our peas. you can go too far the dog from -- you can go to firedoglake.com. there is an information chic you can download.
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it really lets the member of congress know up close and personal these people depend on this money. cutting it off right now is not only terrible for them, but the economy. consumer sentiment has dropped to its lowest point i think since 2009 at the height of the economic downturn because of the debt ceiling talks. it is having a terrible impact on the economy. telling senior citizens they may not get their check is highly irresponsible. host: we just asked if it should make corporate the career of congress. having a vote regarding social security? guest: i think so. i think they should lose their seats if they vote for this. host: mike, republican. caller: good morning. i was arrogant like the members of congress and the senators and everyone along those lines up until 2008. in 2008, i was going in for back
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surgery and was found with terminal cancer. in june 2009, i went on medical disability. and announced to me. i did not even know i was eligible. the doctor told me to file. guess what? in june of this year, i was eligible for medicare. i was on social security disability. i was eligible for medicare. i had to continue working during that time because mprivate insurance when i was allowed to make wall drawing disability, i had to work to pay my private insurance for two years. andow i am on social security. by a private entrance is fixing to lapse. guess what? i get -- i wished i worked at congress because are in the congressman or senators on medicare?
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guest: i believe several of them are of an age to receive medicare. i am very sorry you had this illness. i am happy that so security and medicareave been there for you. americans have the confidence that if it happens to you, it happens to them. so security and medicare will be there to catch them. that is the contract the american government has had with the new people that we will never go through what we went through before in the great depression. i do not think congress understands how fundamentally americans trust this. their turn to say this has to happen for the fiscal secured of the country, -- they are trying to say this has happened for fiscal security of the country. wars, bombs, will subsidies. you name it, there is a long list. i really think that going after the money that is sustaining people like you is really a moral anan american.
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kansas.t's go to caller: good morning. my question is, why does congress want to stop paying social security and medicare when they take a medicare and social security out of people's checks a week? i want to know, why can they just come to a conclusion and stop that? they're putting money in other places like to the war, places like that in afghanistan, to other wars. that is my question. guest: two interesting things your question brings up. when fdr desigd so security, he said, we're going to put it on your checks every week so you will see it being taken out and you will note it is there for you. that was very, very important to fdr and the preservation of the social safety net.
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also, he said, we are going to make sure that every time >> "washington journal" begins live every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern. live to capitol hill now. oklahoma senator tom coburn is about to release his plan to cut the deficit by $9 trillion over the next decade. >> good afternoon. thank you for being here. let me first of all thank my staff, who has worked thousands of hours the last six weeks to accumulate, sifted through every agency and every program of the federal government. you are going to see in this report details like you have never seen. this is a plan, not the only plan, but it is the only plan that will put our country back on a footing in needs to be put on. it is specific, it is detailed, it makes hard choices, and it is
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rough. but it is necessary. the american people are tired of washington waiting until the last minute to avoid a crisis when it is a crisis that washington itself created. the crisis, though, is not the debt limit. the crisis is congress' refusal to make hard choices and reduced the debt that has become our nation's greatest national- security threat. doing nothing is a tax increase. benefit cuts for seniors and the poor, and the trial of the core values of both parties. $9 trillion is very reasonable. that sounds idiotic to washington. but with this $9 trillion, the government will still grow since 2000 when 63%.
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$1 trillion in defense cuts is reasonable. the threat of borrowing from china is greater than the threat of an armed conflict from china. on taxes, let me remind my republican friends what barry goldwater once said, "where is the politician who is not promised his constituents in the fight to the debt for lower taxes and who was not preceded them to vote for their very spending programs that makes tax cuts and a possibility -- an impossibility?" we need to cut spending inside the code as well as outside the code. this plan operas the american people $9 -- this plan offers the american people 9 trillion reasons to stop making excuses and start solving problems and washington. no doubt, both parties will criticize bportions of this plan and it is a legitimate debate, but it is not a
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legitimate criticism until you have a plan of your own, a plan that solve the problems of the future and secures prosperity for kids and grandkids. it is time to show the american people not only what is possible, but also what is necessary. what is not acceptable, however, is not having a plan and delaying reform until some perfect political moment that will never arrive. the fact is, doing nothing is a tax increase, benefit cuts for seniors and the poor, and a trail of our values. the american people -- betrayal of our values. the american people get that congress is like a guy with six credit cards going to get a seventh one to make a minimum payments on the other six. we will not have that option anymore, and neither will he. the question that all the rating agencies are asking is not just will you raise the debt limit -- would you identify and recognize the fundamental reforms necessary to put you on
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a path to where your debt is good? raising the debt limit will not keep us safe. fixing our country and our spending will. both sides are telling the country what they think if they want to hear, but very few are actually telling them the truth. the scope of what i am suggesting is bold, necessary and reasonable we are cutting fat, not muscle and bone. we can easily take several inches from our waistline. this reduces the size of the government 20%, $9 trillion out of $46 trillion over the next 10 years. the defense section, i show how smart cuts and eliminating a low priority functions in government programs will lead our military better prepared to meet potential threats. $1 trillion in savings will but
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the pentagon at back to the same level at the height of the iraq surge -- the same level. with the social security, the program is made solvent, those on the lowest end get a bump. people under 55% on the curve will be held absolutely harmless. health care, we extend a solvency and cut $10 trillion of unfunded liabilities, we have a 10-year doctor fix, we synthesize investments. not everything is caught. some things are increase in this plan, like medical research for drugs, nih. there is a debate about tax is going on, and we propose eliminating $1 trillion of wasteful tax spending. people who call this a tax increase are defending earmarks for ethanol, tax earmarked for
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movie producers, stimulus tax breaks, tax breaks for eskimo whaling captains at a time when we are near bankruptcy. calling this a tax increase ignores the massive amount of waste we have identified at the government. it cuts spending outside the tax code versus inside the tax code by 7.5-1. for some groups, a ratio of 1000-one would not fit. a tax increase is any government policy that takes away your wealth -- that is what is getting ready to happen to our country through financial repression. the assets you have will be diminished in value as the government creates fiat money to pay for our profligate spending. tax expenditures are not tax cuts. expenditures are socialism and corporate welfare-ism.
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increases on anyone who does not receive the benefit or cannot hire a lobbyist for a special interest group to manipulate the code for their favor. politicians love to play the tax code because it benefits politicians. no conservatives should support washington picking winners and losers through the tax code. who do we want deciding that, markets or politicians? it is fine to talk tough on taxes, but if you don't have a plan to right this ship, you have no legitimate authority to even discuss the subject. i am strongly opposed to tax rate increases. i will fight them. they are not necessary to right our ship and create jobs. this is not about what we're cutting, is about what we're left with. a social security system that works and no longer on the verge of bankruptcy. a fairer tax code, and much more
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efficient government. this is 600-some-odd pages, over 3000 references. my hope is that the people who look at this will not just take it and skim it. you will get eight searchable format, you can look at every area, you can see the footnotes and the reference. this is a compilation of recommendations of cbo, the oig's, gao and the obama administration. with that i will take your questions. let me make one other announcement. we are releasing today and oklahoma waste report. it is easy for me to be critical of the federal government without being critical of my own state here are things that are wrong going on with federal money in my state. with that i will take your questions. >> how widely have you floated this plan?
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what kind of reaction have you got hint from leadership on both sides, the rank and file from both sides, both chambers, house and senate? >> the only person who has a copy of this is michael bennett of colorado, because he expressed an interest in being involved and seeing what we were doing. this has not been discussed. the fact is is that washington is broken and. america knows we can do this. it is only the politicians that don't know we can do this. >> you cosponsor the balanced budget amendment, which would require 2/3 for tax credit revenue-raising, even this closing loopholes like this. isn't that problematic for a plan like this, to get 2/3? doesn't that make it much harder for a plan like yours to pass? >> it doesn't matter what anybody is sponsored were done in the past. what is in front of us right now? what is in front of us are increased interest rates. remember, everybody else has been talking about $2 trillion.
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$2 trillion does not even pay our interest over the next 10 years. that is with no increase in interest rates. i don't care what the political problems are brought the fact is that the country is at risk and it is not the time to consider political problems. it is time to consider the country -- >> senator, you are here alone presenting his plan. what does it say that you guys cannot come to an agreement on a way out of this? >> i don't think it's anything about that. what this says is that i decided, when i got frustrated with not getting enough in terms of entitlement reform, i said, let's go look. nobody has ever looked. can you all give me some time when somebody has truly gone through every program, every branch, every function of the federal government and look at hasand look at what thae gao said, what cbo has said, what
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congressional research has said, and compiled that in one place and followed the recommendations? nobody has ever done 8. we spent the last six weeks with our head is down looking at everything, talking to all of these agencies, discovering what is possible to save our country. that is what this is about. look, this is a plan that people can pick and choose from. i understand that. this will enable the process to go forward, jonathan. it is not about me doing it as a loner. i hope people take things out about this. it is a treasure trove of how to solve our countries problems. >> but do you understand the frustration that people look and see that you guys cannot work together? >> sure right, i understand that. i am a term-limited it senator. you all see it every day. what i am saying is that it is time for a new day.
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politics needs to stop. the president's politics it needs to stop, and the members of congress' politics need to stop. there was a country that was very successful, new zealand. they cut the size of their government over 30%, and they had an economic boom. really do this, we will see tremendous job creation -- if we really do this, we will see and tremendous job creation in the country. >> it looks like to put savings in social security back in the program -- >> we did. i cannot give you the exact number, because nobody has ever gone and look at social security the way we did. we went with disability -- it had not been reformed in 25 years. nearly 40%, and some estimates, are not qualified for the benefits and they are getting today. what we've done is try to --
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because we ran out of time -- we are 75 years sellable and probably sustainable thereafter. on do help the poorest social security with an additional benefit. >> will this come to balance? >> easy, we're sitting $1 trillion in interest rates. there is no question, if you use the cbo baseline, which we did not do -- this isn't a budget -- but if you do this, there is no question we would have a balanced budget. >> do you see this as politics, as he was suggesting earlier -- >> i would like to see it passed, because it is one plan that gets us out of trouble. i don't understand why people would not vote for a balanced budget amendment, because it is the only real discipline that would force the politics of washington to meet the responsibilities of washington,
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and we have not done that. i am a supporter of it, i hope it passes, and it will make the kind of changes we need to make. >> you mentioned $1 trillion in defense savings. one of the things and a past that has always been held back is to try care, and -- tricare and premiums associated with that. what you do with tricare, and i the odds of going back to work with -- >> i don't have any comment on the gang of six. nobody in the country should be able to get health care for $250 a year. nobody was ever promised that nobody should be able to do that. what that is saying is that your health care because we do that -- your healthcare is twice as much as it should be because we do that. we look at everything.
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you will be able to see it in here and react to. there is no question from retired military that they will not like what i've done by the fact is, nobody is going to like what we have done, because everybody gets a pinch. everybody. >> you acknowledge yourself yesterday that the chances of this becoming law are virtually none. why not support the gang of six plan -- >> look, i am not going to spend time on the gang of six here. those guys work in good faith and conversations with them, but that is not what this is about this is about what is responsible and what should be done to put the country back on the road to health. let me give you an example -- $4 trillion does not solve our problems. $4 trillion bytes us five years to solve the next $5 trillion that we are going to have to solve. all you have to do is go spend time reading what the -- what
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interest rates are going to be paid if you get $2 trillion and interest rates go in the whole, we are worse off. we need a credible plan where people will continue to think this is the safest place in the world to loan you money. it is not about the debt limit increase, it is about the workings of the budget and the finances of the country behind it. >> is this something that you would -- >> look, if that is what we end up with, that is what we will end up with. i think that is a commentary on washington. we have this great big problem in front of us, and what is our answer? punt? because it is politically more palatable? i did not come here to do that.
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the thing to think about is to think about your own life and it benefits -- the benefits you have had and think of those being at least 1/3 low or for anybody that follows you. that is what we're talking about happening in the country. it is about will we all give a little, will be changed -- will we change and fix it so that we have the opportunity to get a lot more? yes, ma'am? >> have at closing tax loopholes cornered other members -- >> i don't think so. we have this silly thing that says we are going to pay somebody attacked from the federal government out of the tax code and if you touch that, there's something wrong with you, but if you take the same amount of money out of the appropriations side, there is nothing wrong with it.
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that is just ludicrous. >> do you think the entire trillion dollars of revenue -- >> what we are doing in this is starting down the path of tax reform, and that is what we think. we think you ought to eliminate fees and lower the rates -- eliminate the fees and lower the rates, and you can do that. >> you had a successful vote -- ethanol subsidies and used the money for deficit reduction. why not now? >> i was working with a partner on that to get the votes. >> none of that revenue goes to a -- >> look, it is still spending. we are still taking money from you and taking it to land at something and they have to blend otherwise -- blend something
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they have to blend otherwise. >> do you think that house republican leaders and house republicans -- eric cantor, et cetera -- who have signed at the norquist pledge, etc. -- show more courage? >> i think we have to solve the problem. i am not going to speak for them, but if i was in the room, i would create a compromise, and it is not about increasing taxes on the wealthy. it is about eliminating the special interests in the tax code -- generate close to $1 killion for this country, and rightly so. -- $1 trillion for this country, and rightly so. you will stimulate economic growth, which will generate another $50 billion on top of that and a revenue stream.
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,ll right, we're going to have started at 3:30 in our conference room -- anybody who wants to go into detail on these things, my staff will be available and i will be available. russell 172, if you have any questions. thank you all very much. >> house republicans will bring their own debt and deficit plan to the full house tomorrow. it requires more than $100 billion in spending cuts this year, mandatory caps on future government spending, and requires any debt limit increase to be contingent on congress passing a balanced budget amendment.
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c-span will stream tomorrow's debate live on facebook. the house is coming back for cut 15 eastern to debate one bill dealing with churches and their pension funds. notes at 6:30. -- votes 6:30. >> now available, the c-span congressional directory. inside, new and returning house and senate members, including twitter addresses, district maps and committee assignments, and information on the white house, supreme court justices and governors. order online at c- span.org/shop. >> have you ever visited the library of congress? over 2 million people have, and this is your chance to tour the world's largest library to join at c-span for are rare glimpse inside at the library of congress. we will take you into the great hall and explore the main reading room. you will find rare books and
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special collections, including original books from thomas jefferson's personal collection, and you will see how the library is using modern technology to discover hidden secrets and to preserve its holdings for future generations. join us for "the library of congress," tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. >> tonight on "the communicators," fcc commissioner robert mcdowell on actions this week to begin cracking down on unauthorized service charges on the phone bills. that and other issues in front of the fcc tonight on "the communicators" on c-span2. the white house says it will veto a republican deficit reduction plan the house will take up tomorrow that deals with raising the debt ceiling and ties it to passing a balanced budget amendment. meanwhile, senate leaders harry reid and mitch mcconnell continue to work on what is being called plan b, which would
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allow the debt ceiling to rise by $2.50 trillion in three installments, spreading the decision on more borrowing into the next congress and to whoever wins the presidential election. "congressional quarterly" writes that the senate is increasingly likely to pass the bill by friday and the house will stay through the weekend for its debate on the measure. meanwhile, republican presidential candidate and former massachusetts gov. mitt romney talked about the budget and debt ceiling negotiations during an interview in manchester, new hampshire. this is about 20 minutes. >> wmur, the new hampshire institute of politics, with a financial support of a happy new hampshire, presents this commitment 2012 special, conversation with the candidate. tonight, governor mitt romney. >> good evening, and welcome to "conversation with the canada it." our guest this evening, as you just heard, former massachusetts
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gov. mitt romney. to start tonight, a couple of the questions will come for me, but after the break, we will bring in questions from the studio audience in a town hall format it's time to get a quick look at the candidate's biography. he chose this farm rich iapd and political history as the spot to make his second run -- rich in beauty and political history as the spot to make his second run for the white house official. >> i'm mitt romney, i love america, and i'm running for president of the united states. >> mitt romney spent 30 months in france as a mormon missionary. romney and his wife first met in elementary school and married in 1969. they have five sons and 16 grandchildren money graduated from brigham young university in 1971 and earned a dual degrees from harvard law at harvard business school. he founded the investment firm
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bain capital in 1984. in 1999, he came to the rest of the salt lake city politics that was on the verge of collapse. soon after, -- salt lake city te 78th governor of massachusetts. >> governor romney, good to see you. >> thank you, good to be with you. >> you were here during the last election. hell is this campaign different? >> last time we were competing with states where we did not have an incumbent president running on his record. now we have president obama who is running on his record, for the first three years, four years. i think his record will be what this election will be about. do people believe america has a more stable economic foundation? or are we in a weaker position? i think the american people have
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concluded, as i have, that the president has failed us. this will be a campaign about president obama and his record. >> you were the front runner. you are the front runner this time. you must be tired of being called the front runner at this point. >> these early polls do not tell you what is going to happen on election day. i will be spending a lot of time in meetings like this. ipad as several already. i will have a lot more. -- i have had several already. i will have a lot more. i will share my message with the folks here. >> do you feel more ready to be president this time around rather than 2008? >> i am probably a better candidate because you learn from your mistakes and i made a few last time around. the issue really was that -- was really about iraq and the search, and john mccain
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understood the parameters of the american policy in iraq. this time, i think the issue revolves around the economy. i spent 25 years in the business world. i understand how the economy works. how jobs grow, why they leave. that is what americans are looking for today. >> the dead debate going down in washington. -- the debt debate going down in washington. is there any way not to raise the debt ceiling? should the president have the unilateral authority to incrementally raise the debt ceiling? >> i think it is important for the president to understand the decision about the debt ceiling is up to him. he has to agree with a whole new group of congress people elected last fall. they said we're not going to introduce new taxes. we are going to reduce the
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deficit. the president has to say, you know what? we're not going to raise taxes. we're going to reduce government spending. if the president takes that course, why, you will see republicans jump on board. been there will be no issue of a debt ceiling problem. right now he wants to raise taxes. mr. president, the message was heard loud and clear by virtually everyone in the country. we do not want taxes. we want less spending. >> at this point in the game, i think republicans and democrats agree on this point. this is not about that reduction. this is about the debt settled the. leader mcconnell suggested the president should be given the authority to raise the debt ceiling. do you agree with that? >> i think we need the spending reduction the american people expect. i do not want to see a higher debt ceiling with more borrowing unless we're able to show we can
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dramatically reduce the spending, cap spending, and we have a balanced budget amendment in place so we do not keep spending more than we take in. that is what republicans have said to the president. >> so you think there's still time on this. -- so you think there is still time on this? >> the president has the capacity to make decisions that will conform with the voters and the american people and what they have indicated they want. spending shrunk. >> i do not want to harp on this. this is what everybody is watching. the president came on and said social security checks will bounce. he would rather see a long-term deal that contributes to debt reduction and the debt ceiling is tied directly to the other? >> president is going to try to frighten people and suggest all sorts of terrible things are going to happen if he does not
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get his way. the right course for the president is to say i heard what the american people are telling me and i am willing to conform to the communication that is coming from the american people. they want less federal spending. he ought to agreed to a balanced budget. if he does that, republicans will go along and this issue will disappear. >> this would be your approach. you feel like there would be an agreement? >> no question. if i was in the white house, i would go to republicans and democrats and say, let's cut federal spending, cap spending, and have a balanced budget amendment. and if we do those things, republicans will sign-on. a lot of democrats will sign on as well.
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in the past, the president has said that he favors a balanced budget amendment. let's do that. >> appear to say we cover the issue of the debt ceiling. -- fair to say we covered the issue of the debt ceiling. we are going to take this break, and when we come back, questions from the studio audience. >> welcome back to conversations with the candidate. it is time to bring in questions from our audience. we have plenty to show -- plenty to choose from. first question comes from stacey from merrimack and centers on all of us, basically. >> health care costs are climbing out of control. many of us in public service positions work hard every day
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for little to no pay increase every year. teachers, educators, a fireman. the 1 per has been great health- care coverage, which now -- the one perk has been great health care coverage, which now seems to be coming to an end. how would you support us? >> the middle class is suffering. 20 million are unemployed or vastly underemployed. wages not going up not just in government, but also in the private sector as well. how do you get the economy going? how do you get the cost of living down and put people back to work? we have at seven habits of highly successful economies. 1, tax rates for employers better competitive. two, to make sure we have regulation and the governments
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are streamlined and modern. 3, trade policies that work for us, not just the other guy. right now there are nations like china whose trade policies we some how about 2. i do not understand that. four getting ourselves into it -- energy secure. bayh, equal rule of law. finally, a government that does not spend more than it takes in. that is the answer for the american people. >> to you tap the nation's oil reserves? >> no. only in a time of national emergency. the right answer for energy is to start developing our own energy. we have natural gas in abundance. we have been using that not only for power generation, but also for transportation. we should be drilling for oil offshore in and more -- in
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anwr. nuclear power will come back in a safe way. and of course the renewal bowls -- renewables. we need to be energy deficient and if we do that, we will be far less dependent on the cartels and the way they would stop energy prices -- whipsaw energy prices. >> social security is important for seniors, including my grandparents. without it, the elder the poverty rate would increase by 35%. do you support changes to social security that would increase the poverty rate for seniors? >> absolutely not. what we should do is preserve social security. when you hear time and time again is social security has been rated over the years.
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politicians have taken the money and use it for there spending programs. medicare also makes a great difference to our seniors in this nation. i want to keep social security and medicare alive and well to protect those that are dependent on those programs. some of my fellow republicans have proposed ideas to do that and have indicated no changes in the program for people in there late 50s's and 60's. for people in there 20s's, 30's, early '50s's, we do not want to be misleading people. in my view, i would like to find a way to make sure those programs are sustainable on a permanent basis. i put a book out called "no apology," explaining why would make those plans permanently
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sustainable. thanks. greg question. >> another question from diane. she has won on the issue of healthcare. >> hi, diane. >> hello, governor romney. as president, was this would take to ensure quality affordable health care for the insured and uninsured? >> this is an area you net interest in? >> i am a physician. >> it is an important question. in massachusetts, we wrestled with this question. we had a number of folks who, even though they could afford insurance, have learned that if they showed up at the hospital and set "i do not have insurance or the money to pay the i guess they could get free care. we call them free riders.
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i said, we are leaders. we're responsible for solving challenges. we did an experiment. some programs worked. sons did not. some states could learn from what we did. other things -- we should have states craft there own solutions to these issues and let states compare, see who is doing its best, and i think by doing that and by letting individuals make there own choices in healthcare, you have a setting where you have the best of the federalist system or states are able to compete without having what the president did. what the president did was say i am going to have one idea and impose it on the entire nation. take away the rights of states and individuals to make there own choices. that was a huge mistake.
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i want a free market health care system, which i think is the best way to bring costs down, and i want to return to the states the authority and responsibility for expanding coverage of there own citizens. >> governor, perhaps your achilles heel in this campaign -- what is the difference between state-government mandate which you supported in massachusetts compared to the federal government mandate? >> the federal mandate is unconstitutional. that is a significant difference. secondly, quite simply this -- the states have differences between them. what works in massachusetts will not necessarily work in mississippi and montana. we have differences. under a federalist system we adjust our programs for the needs of our respective citizens. with the federal system, it is one size fits all. you ignore those differences. you're going to find in this
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country, people are going to say i do not want obama care -- ob amacare. i wished the president would have given me a call. i would have said, mr. president, do not impose this on the entire nation. >> could it be right for some states? >> what we did for massachusetts a decision massachusetts makes, and i understand most recent poll there, by a factor of three to one, people support that plan. we also need a curriculum for our school systems. all our schools teach to the same curriculum. if the president were to take the massachusetts curriculum and say i am going to impose that on the nation, that would be wrong and it might be unconstitutional. it is simply wrong to shred the constitution by saying, we're not going to believe in states authorities, state responsibilities, we are going to have washington tell people how they're going to live.
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that will not work. that is the wrong way to deal with health care or almost anything else. >> our next team the question comes from anthony from amherst. if you are elected president, will you engage in foreign military action without a congressional declaration of war? >> there are circumstances where immediacy is necessary, but if we're going to engage in war, you go to congress and received congressional support. the circumstances would determine the degree of the congressional support necessary, but obviously, i would intend to follow the constitution. but as president of united states, my first responsibility is to protect the security and the life and the well-being of the american people and i would do so. >> outline what you think is the best course of action.
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>> i think the surge is the best course. he response to events as they occur. any policy that has the characteristics coming u.s. successes and failures. i think the surge was a big success. i think a failure was announcing to the taliban we were going to withdraw. while they may not have watches, they do have calendars. [laughter] you drive them away if they know they only have to hideout for a certain time. i think of -- i think that was a mistake on his part. i think he should have made sure that the public elections were held in such a way that there was public confidence. i think there are lessons learned. one is, we have been there 10 years. id is time for the afghan people to be able to take
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responsibility -- it is time for the afghan people to take responsibility for there own safety that has been fought for so valiantly by our soldiers. we do want to see the afghans pick up the responsibility for the effort that goes for word. in the determination of when to pull our troops out should come as a result of the input of the people closest to the battlefield, the generals and the leaders on the ground. at the president should be listening more to them as david cameron in the u.k. did. >> i know you do not agree with the method we got into all there. now that we are there, do we need to stay in libya until colonel gaddafi is out of power? >> we would all like to see gaddafi out of power. the president came to the american people and congressional leaders and said, look, this is a humanitarian
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mission. and the mission changed. and crept into being a mission of regime change. and supporting a new government in libya. our focus really ought to be on egypt where there are 80 million people rather than libya were there are 6 million people. i would like to see gaddafi replaced, but i would like to see the president of the united states explain to the american people what he intends to do there. who is going to manage this country if gaddafi is taken out. this is something he has not done yet. the last communication we had on libya from our president was this was a humanitarian mission, and it is clearly very different today. >> gone back to the original question -- -- going back to your original question, the humanitarian mission unfolding, what approach would you have taken? but there are three choices the president had in libya. -- >> there are three choices
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the president had in libya. the first choice is to pick up the phone through diplomatic channels and tell gaddafi if you attack your people, we are going to come bomb at the heck out of you. you better back off. i hope that happened. that is the teddy roosevelt approach. speaks softly, carry a big stick. >> [unintelligible] >> gaddafi said all these positive things about president obama. i hope they spoke. that is the first taurus. that is what i would have done. number two choice, humanitarian mission. 3 is to muddle into, we're going to change the regime. i think that is where we ended up in that is not what he told the american people. >> the next question, dr. benjamin from hannover. >> thank you, dr.. >> governor romney -- president
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bush used no child left behind to improve the quality of our k- 12 educational system. many republicans believe the states should reform their education without federal mandates. what is your strategy? >> my strategy for public education reform was shown by my leadership in massachusetts. it was not just me. it was former teachers and legislators in massachusetts. we said, we are going to have high standards. we're not going to let kids graduate from high school unless they pass there graduation exam. that was put to the test for the first time. would we actually insist on passing that examined? it was of bit of a battle.
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those high standards, testing our kids, allowing the state to take over our school that fails on a multiple year basis and expanding our choices. those choices have driven massachusetts schools to being number one in the nation. that is the right approach. i think improve education happens best at the state level, not the federal level. my view is to encourage states to experiment. you see this in florida where jeb bush's governor. it has driven florida to be among the highest performing states in the nation. that is the right course. >> we have less than two minutes. on consensus building, as president, how can we get a lot done? what would you do to build some sort of common theme?
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>> i had a great advantage, and i know it did not feel like it at the time, but getting elected governor of massachusetts, and yet a state that was mostly democrat. all right? [laughter] it was 87% democrat. i recognize that to get anything done, i had to get along. every monday, and that would be senate president and the speaker of the house and a couple of other leaders, and we talked about the challenges the state faces. we established a relationship of trust and respect in that allowed us to work together and find common ground. we often disagree. id code, i believe, at 800 or more -- i vetoed , i believe, at 800 or more measures. we have different views of how to express our love, but we do love the country.
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we can find common guard if you have leaders that will put behind any idea of re-election and focus on the job there were elected to do, which is to help the american people. we have too many politicians and too few statesmen. that is something i hope to bring to the white house. >> all right, governor, that is all the time we have. time did fly. remembered these conversations will continue throughout the summer. keep this in mind. this conversation with governor romney will continue online. there you will find a full 30 minutes or so of questions from our audience, and you will also be able to re-watch this hour in case you missed the conversation. thank you for watching. big thanks to our studio audience. big banks to our candidate, former massachusetts gov. mitt romney. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> you are watching c-span, the new politics and public affairs. connecting you with elected officials, policy makers, and journalists. weekdays, watch live coverage of the u.s. house. also, supreme court oral arguments. on the weekend, our signature interview program. on sunday, newsmakers, today, and prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. you can also watch any program online at c-span.org. c-span -- washington, your white. a public service created by america's cable companies. -- c-span -- washington, your way. >> the house is coming back in at 4:15 this morning to debate
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one bill. c-span will stream tomorrow's debate live on facebook. >> have you ever visited the library of congress? over 2 million people have, and this is your chance to tour the world's largest library. tonight, join c-span for a live look at the library of congress. we will take you into the main hall and the reading room. you will find special collections including our regional and thomas jefferson's personal collection and you will see how the library uses modern technology to preserve its collection for future generations. that is live tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> tonight, fcc commissioner robert mcdowell on the fcc
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actions to begin cracking down on unauthorized service charges on phone bills. that is tonight on c-span2. as we wait for the house to come in, the president of the federal religious liberties commission was on this morning's "washington journal." of the southern baptist convention. all of these fiscal matters. in terms of how a religious conservative views the nation's debt? >> guest: we're borrowing 41 ces of every dollar our government spends. we have been living way beyond our means for a long time. if we do not quickly address , and i mean quickly and significantly, we're going to foreclose our children and
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grandchildren's future. they will spend their entire lives paying off our debt. my generation will be the first generation in american history to be quick to the children and grandchildren and or standard of living than the one we had. my parents would be aghast a this the world war ii generation would be aghast. their whole lives were dedicated to us, perhaps unhappily so. one comment about the baby boomers, we reduce stars of our families and we never got over it. this is generational theft. one of the 10 commandments is, thou shalt not steal. host: how you feel we got here? guest: remember al gore talking about a lock box in the 2000 election. there is no lock box. the president let that out of the bag.
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the president said we may not be a list send social security checks. what happened to the trust fund? the trust fund was raided. what is in the trust fund is a huge stack of iou's from congress when it took the money paid into sources security and spent and for other things. -- into social curity and spent it for other things if the checks to not go out, the government takes in about $200 billion a month. social security checks are $50 billion a month. we can pay the interest on we go and pay the social security checks and pay the $35 million that is medicare and medicaid and not the fault id i think it would be a choice the president makes. i think it is despicable he is trying to scare social secure recipients into thinking if we do not raise the debt ceiling, that they will not get their
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checks. if they do not, it would be the choice of the obama administration and secretary of treasury. host: our guest is richard land of the southern baptist commission. the phone numbers are on the bottom of the screen but we're talking about the campaign 2012. conservatives who are running and the greek fiscal issues that everyone is wrtling with here in washington. -- we're talking about the conservative and fiscal issues that everyone is wrestling with here in washington. richard land, what should be cut, from your point of view? guest: almost everything. when you're looking at a budget such as this one, first of all, i've seen very few budgets to could not take a 5% cut. i would have 5% across-the-board cut. secondly, i think we could start with the $200 billion that the gao identified
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$200,000,000,000.38 triplicate and wasteful programs that do not do any good. $200 billion. that is a good place to start. there many places we could cut. frankly, i do not think planned parenthood should be getting $400 million from the american government. i think npr can function just fine on its own. that would be nearly $1 billion a year, $10 billion over a decade, if we just cut out those two programs. there many places we could cut that we're spending on programs that we do not need, wasteful programs. when the gao cn find $200 billn in cuts, that a significant. host: in your view, what is the
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proper role of government? guest: xiii, t government is ordained by god. punish those who do evil and reward those which is right. the government should be maintaining law and order and to be fostering a society in which exemplary behavior is rewarded and less than exemplary behavior is not. and there's a moral symmetry to the society. i think government and the country as wealthy as ours, we should be looking out for the welfare and health of the people within the ability of the government and the ability of the country to pay we cannot do everything. that is part of the problem. washington has been tried to do everything. they have been kicking the can down the road. now we've reached the place we can no longer can get down the
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road. we're going to become greece. there is no one to bail us out if we go into default. ho: our guest, the host of "richard land life, closed with a three-hour program. -- "richar land live," a three- hour program. guest: we're on the air every saturday. i start talking about topics until people start calling. one of the ways to keep myself interested is, i wonder at a time -- which topic will get people calling? i am seldom right. [laughter] it often is a surprise to me what it's the calls coming, what is them far enough to call in a positive or negative. host: florida, independent,
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john. good morning. caller: you guys make me think of some any questions. i've a comment about c-span 3 yesterday. they had a wonderful program from debt ceiling debate from 1990, 21ears ago. they worse in the exact same things we're arguing about today -- they were saying the exact same things we're arguing about today. i think mr. durbin, a representative back there, mentione when social 61st started, the maximum amount you could take out of a check was $30 back in 1939 read it went to $600 in 1969. during the debate of 1990 when the program was taking place the ximum amount they could take out was $3,000. it is a ponzi scheme. my father was born in 1916.
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when he retired in 1981, they had taken out $13,000. he lived on until 1997 and coected over $300,000. this trust fund, so this may -- so to say, there is no trust fund. that is why clinton had a surplus. that surplus was because he put the amount that is in the social security trust fund into that figure that made it appeared to be a surplus. we never had a sulus. the bottom line is, this is a ponzi scheme. the government does not take this money and invest it like a bank would. they do not lend it out and get 19% interest like credit cards or 8% on mortgages, so you cannot generate a critical mass of money for the retirement generation because -- like i said, my father put in 13,000
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and got out $330,000. who makes up that difference? the taxpayers. guest: i cannot agree more. i am one ofhe beneficiaries. i am the first year of the baby boomers. i read an article that said if i live out a normal life span, i will get about $300 in medicare and social security for every dollar i put in. my parents, who are a little younger than your parents, and are still alive, have gotten many, many times more out of so security than they put in. it is a ponzi scheme. if a private entity did with the federal government is doing with social security, they would go to jail. it is what brain madoff went to jail for. they're taking money from currentontributors to pay for those are currently retired. that will not last much longer because with the baby boomers,
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tenerife first 1946 -- january 1 1946 and general first 2011, the first baby boomer turns 65. every eight seconds for the next 18 years, a baby boomer will turn 65. that is a huge, huge, 78 million generation burden on social security. there is no wayr no argument that we are going to be a to bring our fiscal house in order without adjustments to social security. we can no longer afford a one size fits all kind of retirement plan that we have. i'm not talking about those who are currently retired and those who are nearing retirement, but for those who are say 55 and younger, we're going to have to give them some warning that we are going to have to say or tax more of social security for those who have other means -- no
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onis talking about taking away social security from those who have that is the only retirement income. but there are millions of americans who have irs'a and other retiment programs. and other retirement programs. we will have to tax them at higher rates in order to keep the program solvent for everyone. host: mississippi, a democrat. caller: been morning. i want to ask the preacher a question. whenever you hear it were going on in the tax breaks for the rich and money taken at of social security, why is it going to them people? guest: i am for a far more simplified tax system and what we have now.
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i'm not here to argue for tax breaks for the rich. but those are not causing us to spend or to borrow 41 cents of every dollar that our government spends. we bring in $200 billion a month right now, and $50 billion of that is going for social security payments. that is wh just the first year of baby boomers begin to retire. another $35 billion in medicare and medicaid. you understand, at some point, it is just goingo submerge us. i am for a far more simplified tax system than the one we have now. i would lower the rates along the terms of the some symbols commission and cut out loopholes. i think we should be incentivizing capital formation and productivity rather than incentivizing intelligent people spending their time trying to figure out how to avoid paying taxes.
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host: plenty more time for your calls. here is an e-mail. don't you think churches and religis organizations should be paying taxes? church and state is supposed to be two different entities. guest: i think churches should be chaired by all non-profit private entities. if you want to tax the other nonprofit charitable eities, and you can tax churche but anti do that, and you start taxing the march of dimes and united way, you should not tax churches. churches are nonprofit entities. as long as they are, they should be treated like all other nonprofit entities. one thing we can to take for granted in this country, because it has always been part of the furniture in the room, and our country, we are far, far more given to charitable causes than any other country in the world.
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hundreds of tis more. part of it is we are a generous people. part of it is our government a long time ago figured out people will give a lot more to what they care about givin to if there incentivized to do so through tax deductions. a person who has means will give $100,000 to an organization and get a $10,000 $15,000 tax deduction for that. they will do so because they care about it and then that does tremendous good in the community. i would say churches should not be treated any differently than all of the other charitable, nonprofit organizations in the country. host: north carolina, republican. caller: thank you for taking my call. mr. land, a thank you for being on the forefront of making or
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keeping americans reminded that a divine intervention did have a big part in this country. could i ask you one thing? and they know the same answer. what you think is our hope for america? there's only one hope for america. what would you say that would be? guest: as a christian, i think the only hope and best hope for america is a spiritual revival or the country turns back to the creator. our founding documents say that we believe all men are created equal and endowed by their creator or with certain unalienable rights and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. i think our country was founded by people who were elected on a studio christian base. they did not just pull those ideas out of thin air. they got them from the heritage
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that they share with the british who also got a from the judeo- christian hitage. i believe if we did that, if we had a return to people behaving responsibly and understanding they are responsible to a higher power, then we would have far more responsible behavior, wch would lead to fewer out of wedlock pregnancies, fewer divorces, and lead to not having 50% of our children being reared in single-parent homes. the greatest single cause of poverty in the united states is single parenthood. everyone agrees about that. if we could get men to marry the mothers of their children and stay married to them, we would eliminate a huge burden on our government. we are paying about $700 billion a year in means tested programs
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that essentially are trying to make up for the lack of fathers support the economic terms and in emotional terms because of absent fathers. if we could get fathers to marry the mothers of their trodden and stay married, we would be closing prisons. boys without a father have twice the chance of being incarcerated by the times they are 30 than those who grow up in homes with fathers. we had a 5% a legitimate rate 1960, and 41% today. -- illegitimacy rates is 41% today. host: harry reid talk about the
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tea party late last week amidst all of these debt negotiations. when we come back, we will talk about the two-party. >> i've been to a few court house is. any ti around here with a new tea party philosophy, they seem to think they have an online was about the constitution. in short, that is a bunch of garbage, ok? i do not know how to say more clearly than that. host: kind of a short clip, simply put by the majority leader. what you make of the tea party? guest: i think the tea party is an amazing movement, amazing grass-roots movement in america. i have never been to a tea party rally, but i have observed them and i know people who go to them. i have seen the polling.
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90% of the people are social security -- social conservatives. what drove them into the political activism was their concern that they play by the rules, have paid their taxes, ve worked hard, and they see the government for closing their financial future and the financial future of eir children and grandchildren. they want it stopped. i think the two-party is sort ofhe del-tea party is the spear point of a larger movement. there's a real debate going on. some are listening to obama in 2008 when he said, i want to remake america. he is in the process of doing so. he is tried to take over one seventh of the economy to obamacare. he has takenver two of the three big automakers. now he has increased the percentage the government spends
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of gross domestic product from 20.6% to 20.5%, a huge increase. it is one of the things driving the debt crisis. there's a reaction to that from americans and many are called tea partiers. they do not want to remake america, but restore america. they think america took a wrong turn in the late 1960's. we began to emphasize privileges and rights over obligations and responsibilities. many of the people who think that was a wrong turn now to that turn themselves. they have seen the consequences of them. and the havoc it has wrought in our society and broken homes and broken lives and broken children and adults who are still traumatized by the broken homes they grew up in. they saying, no, we want to restore america. peggy noonan had a wonderful article last week about their
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100 million americans over 50 and many feel like immigrants. they feel like they live in a country that is different than the country they grew up in. in many ways, it is different. they want it to restore in america where exemplary behavior is rewarded, not mocked. and less than exemplary behavior is not rewarded. host: what is your biggest critique of the tea party? what would you say to them? guest: i would say, be careful to emphasize what you're for and not try to demonize those that oppose you. we're all in this together. we're on this big liner called america together giving there are people that disagree with you and that does not mn they're bad people or that they're not patriotic.
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host: what would you likto say? caller: i want asked about his opinion why isn't always easy for us to demonize those who are in poverty, to blend them personally but we continue to pay corporate wealth over long periods of time? i will hang up. host: corporate welfare point there. tost: i'm not sure we pander inherited wealth with the tax rates being what they are. i am certainly not the recipient of inherited wealth, i can assure you of that. i'm the first person in my family to graduate from college. i do not thk people are demonizing those who are in economic straitsbut we do have to look at some of the reasons for it.
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choosing not to marry the mother of your children is a choice. staying not married -- and not staying married to the mother of your children is a choice bridge 70% of the time after a divorce with no-fault divorce, the former husband's last dog goes up in the living standard of his wife and family goes down. i will sign up for anyone who wants to eliminate no-fault divorce right now. i will give you a statistic that has more heartbreak and i can even do justice. that is that every year in america, and seven out of tin of forces, only one partner once the divorce. the other partner feels used, abandon, taking advantage of,
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lied to, and slept with great harm. host: kansas, a democrat. good morning. hello? caller: yes, this is tricky. i want to say one thing. my concern is very high, especially being the the term of fighting crime this was 28 years ago and have never seen nothing for it. no sense of security disability. my wife is disabled and falling just got it. -- know so security disability. my wife is disabd and finally just got it. how can we just be taking care of our own quest mark >> guest: i like what we're -- doing in africa a lot better we are contributing to funds that
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have some accountability in termof economic development. charity begins at home. i think we do need to take care of our domestic needs first. we're in a place right now where i think we're to be far more frugal with our foreign aid than we are, although, it is a very small percentage of the budget and has been ever since the end of the cold war. but i do not think there is any program that the federal government administers that could not be more responsibly administrative. that is why i'm talking about the 5% cut. i cannot imagine a federal program that could not undergo a 5% cut was no reduction in productivity. host: mary, north colina, republican. caller: i am calling and to come on the social security issue --
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i want to comment on the social security issue. i would like to remind people listening, and many will be old enough to remember back in the 1990's when president george w. bush was working on the options. i say options of some program where people on social security and it did not involve anybody older than 55. it was to be 55 and under, those going into social security to have an option in a private savings account. that was demonized almost from here to eternity.
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i will never forget that when aarp came out with an issue of the newsletter, huge issue about what president bush was going to do with social security. iemember that by the thousands, senior citizens cut their aarp cards. this is what led to be parting company with the aarp. and the other important issue that i think needs to be really emphasized, and i do not hear it emphasized anymore, it is for people to pay attention not just on the short term to what is going on. i just did a wonderful thing,
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i've been voting since 1964. my husband and i remained democrats until just a few years ago. what people were promising and when they were delivering, and just of the tran -- trends, because as i got older i had a bit more time to pay attention than i did when i was junger. involved in raising children, etc. i noticed that a lot of the people being elected wound up not doing what they said they were going to do -- >> mary from north carolina guest. politicians are like your children often, do wt you
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expect -- inspect, not expect. george w. bush's proposal was in 2005, rightfter the election, and it would have been a wonderful deal for youer people. i hope it would have passed. it would have bn a great deal for my children. it would have allowed people to take an option of investing 2% of the social security contributions in a private account with their name on it that they actually owned, that the government cld not borrow and leave a paper iou. you could invest it and have a certain number of options -- you could throw a dart at a dart or for stocks and to betterhan the 2% return you get for social security. if you died prematurely, that cat was your money -- that account with your money and you could give it to your children. it would have been a far better deal than the one at junger workers currently have under the
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prognosis partial security -- for social security, and it would not touch anybody under 55. what did the democrats do? they demagogue it in completely misrepresented it and kept president bush from doing something which would have helped us to avert this crisis. of course, they are doing the same thing now with paul ryan and's plan. i find it amazing. paul ryan's plan more radical than i would do, but his plan is interesting on medicare. he says no one under 55 is touched. people under 55, when they reached retirement age, they go on medicare and will get a voucher and wille able to go out and buy insurance. president obama said that this is throwing people to their own devices. it is exactly what obamacare does for the rest of the country. what ryan was doing with medicare recipients is exactly
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what president obama's plan does for the rest of the country who go to these exchanges. that is not throwing people to their own devices. why is it throwing people to their own devices to put competition into the medicare system? you know, the drug benefit system is one of the few government programs in history that its actual cost less -- that has actually cost less than it was projected to cost, because there was competition built into it. host: 17 minutes left without guest, richard land of the southern baptist convention. shifting gears a little bit, who is your favorite candidate for 2012? guest: 0, i don't have one, and if i did, i would not tell you, because i don't endorse candidates. it is no secret that i am pro- life. i am going to vote for a pro- life candidate. but which one? that is up to them. the one that i think would make
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the best president. that is what i did the last time, every time in the primaries i tried to vote for the person that is pro-life that i think would make the best president. so i listened and i am watching and listening and reading and going to websites. host: one of the candace out there, herman cain, there isn ap stor -- is an ap story. he says "communities have a right to ban mosques." "gop presidential candidate herman cain said that communities have a right to band mosques. cain said is he does not amount to religio discrimination because he says that muslims are trying to inject sharia law into the u.s." guest: first of all, i would
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respectfully encourage him to read the first amendment to the constitution, where it says that government ought not interfere with the free exercise of religion -- should not interfere with the free exercise of religion. the first amendment is one of those amendments that is too important, and attacks whites that are two central to our -- and protects rights that are too central to our rights of the country. mr. cain of all people, as an african-american, should understand that our rights ould be guaranteed at the federal level. i don't think he would want to leave the vil rights of an african-american to the local voters in philadelphia, mississippi, where they buried three civil-rights workers under a dam after they had told them a bit at the demographic anomalies are such that we cannot -- after
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they had killed them. the demographic and, is such that we cannot leave the bill of rights to the local option, i"m 'm sorry. muslims have a right to have places of worship. now, sharia law is unconstitutional. it violates the separation of church and state and separation of mosque and state. secondly, it violates clauses that protect equal rights. under sharia law, women do not have equal rights. if a muslim couple choose to operate their marriage according to islamic law, that is a voluntary contract they enter into, and if they have a right to do that. i defend to the death of their right to do that, just as i defend to the death my right as a baptist to have my marriage operated under the christian guidelines that i believe the bible teaches for a husband-wife
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relationship. but i would fight to the death to try to keep that baptist view from being made it illegalou and try to impose it on everyone else, and the same thing -- being made the illegal of you and try to impose it on everyone else, and the same thing is true with sharia law. don't throw out the baby with the bath, mr. cain. they have a right to have places of worship close by. they with -- close by tgo where they live. if they try to impose shairria law at any level, that is unconstitutional. we take a pledge to uphold the constituti of the united states, that means is, in america will look different and islam in other -- islam in
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america will look different from is, and other places, just like catholicism in america it looks different from catholicism in europe. it ended up transforming catholicism in europe, so now the vatican has become one of the chief eloquent spokpersons for religious freedom and soul freedom in the world. i would hope that islam in america would ultimately transform is, rather will to understand the separation of mosque and state is better for the mosque, just like the separation of church and state is better for the church. separation of church and state is there to protect the church from the interference of the government. congress shall make no effect in anestablish and of religion or interfering with the free exercisehereof. you and i cannot violate the first amendment. only the government can violate the first amendment. host: time for a couple more political questions. lakeland, florida.
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mary, once again, on the independent line. caller: hi. i am 77 and i have received the social security. last two years, we've not got to raise, and now we may be won't get a check next month. i received an e-mail and social security in 2003 for the 2004 election. it told me to pass it on. i did not do it because i did not know whether it was true or false. now i am asking the question, is it true or false? perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. our senators and congressmen and women do not pay into social security and of course they do not collect from it. social security was not suitable for persons of their evaluation. they felt they should have a special plan for themselves. many years ago, they voted into their own senator plan.
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in more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. for all practical purposes, the plan works like this -- when they retire, they continue to draw the same day until they die, except it may increase from time to time for the cost-of- living adjtment. host: any specific question for our guest? caller: byrd, white -- 7,800,000 -- yep, $7,800,000, and their wives were drawing $275,00 during the last years of their lives -- host: anything you want to latch onto? guest: this is the reason i'm for term limits. i think our founding fathers never had in mind career politicians. i would let them serve a maximum
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of 12 years and have them go home could to keep remembering george mcgovern's letter to "the wall street journal," where he went bankrupt trying to run a bed-and-breakfast, he wrote a letter of apology that appeared in "the wall street journal," saying "when i voted for these regulations and ordinances that put a burden on sma businesses, i had no idea what i was doing, and i apologize." if they could only serve for 12 years, they would not hav these retirement programs. they would be in the same retirement programs as everybody else. this would make for a far more responsive congress than at the e we have now. i have been a strong supporter of term limits and will remain a supporter of term limits. in terms of your social security, the money is there to pay your social security, ma'am. if you don't get a social security check, you can blame the secretary of the treasury geithner and presidt obama,
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because ey will may -- will love me as it tries not to prioritize it sending social security checks -- will have made a choice to not privatize sending social security checks. host: what is your view of these pledges, note-tax pledges, marriage pledge? guest: i am for complete transparency to people running for office ought to say, "this is what i believe it, if you don't want that kind of senator or governor, don't elect me." this goes back to governor perry in texas calling for people to come on august 7 to houston, and you have thesetheists' filing suits saying that it i unconstitutional. give me a break. the governor is a citizen just like everybody else, and he has been reelected several times by
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the people of texas. it is not a secret that he is an evangelical methodist. if he wants to call for a time of prayer, he has every right to do so and he has every right to attend, and people who do not want to go it should not go if people to not want that governor in texas, they would not have an elected rick. as many times as they have. the people elected a conscious, public christian, evangelical christian as governor in 1992 -- george bush -- george w. bush in 1996, rick perry three times after that. host: folks are waiting to see if governor perry gets into the race. if so, what does it mean? guest: this is up nearly amateur assessment because i'm not a professional partner to kidder, but this is shipping -- up i am
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not a professional prognosticatorbut this is shaping up as mitt romney versus somebody. the person interested in not being a deal that is seen as republicans compromising here is that mitt romney. the establishment party rolls over for obama and takes on this -- caves on this, then romney is finished, because there will be such a backlash that no matter how much he protests, he will be caught at it the backlash. it is a fight for the other candidates to be the anti-romani candidate, and you will have a fight between romney and non- romney -- it could be michele bachmann, rick perry, herman cain, whoever did somebody will emerge. it is interesting to watch this campaign. i will make this observation --
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michelle bachmann seems to get better almost every time she speaks. it tells me that she is a coachable, she listens. that is something that not all politicians do, listen to criticism. host: there is a "usa today" story today. "gop fundraisers stay on sidelines. elite fund-raisers have not yet opened their checkbooks." does that worry you? guest: no, it is the candidate's job to get them to open their checkbooks. we will see. it is a long, drawn-out process, but it does tend to work. it tends to cause the cream to rise to the top, the survivors, those who have the ability to raise the money, ability to
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organize the campaign brought the last time i endorsed a candidate, before i came to my present position, in 1988 i took a pledge that would not endorse candidates -- the last candidate endorsed for president was jack kemp. i thought jack kemp would make a very good president, but you know, he ran one of the most disorganized presidential campaigns in history. if a person cannot organize a campaign, and they are not going to be able to organize and administration. host: illinois, norm, democrat for richard land. caller: you sound more like a candidate for president from the tea party than a religious leader. i wonder if you agree with some of the television evangelists and radio evangelists during the health-care debate, whether jesus would have been against the health care reform. i have been a lifelong
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lutheran, gone to great school in a lutheran school and graduated from the lutheran college. my upbringing was jesus would want anyone and everyone to take care of the poor and needy. conservatives, especially the extreme religious conservatives, seem to be the ones that go to church every single sunday, pray for the poor and weak and sick and spend the rest of the week making sure nobody does anything to help them. guest: first of all, people who identify themselves as conservatives religiously and politically give a far more of their own money to charity and to help the less fortunate than the liberals do, andhat is documented in everytate and the country. the state that is the mt -- gives the highest percentage of income to the poor and unfortunate is mississippi, the
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poorest state in the name and one of the most conservative states. there's a lot of documentation that that is true. the question is what works best? i am opposed to obamacare because i lived under national health in britain for three years and i know what happens. eu end up with a ration care. this last saturday on my program i had a nurse practitioner call in from arkansas who said that already they are being turned down for treatments. they request treatment and are being turned down under medicare because the person is terminal. since they are terminal, the treatment is not worth giving. they suffer and die. there is a woman going blind and that she cannot get treatment for her element that is causing her to go blind, because she is terminal. dr. berwick, put in a recess appointment ito be the head of medicare, is it in a love affair with the british system.
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they deny people 59.5 because it is not a good investment. even president obama said it was perhaps not the best use of resources to give his grandmother and a hip replacement after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. i guess she could hobble around in panama she was dying of cancer. that is a -- not the kindh -- whilee around in pain b she was dying of cancer. that is not the kind of treatment jesus would endorse. with dr. berwick in charge of medicare, >> have you ever visited the library of the -- the library of
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congress? over 2 million people have. this is your chance. join c-span for a look inside the library of congress. we will take you into the great hall and explore the main reading room. you will find unique books in the rare books and special collections, including original books from thomas jefferson's personal collection. you will see how the library is using modern technology to preserve its holdings for future generations. join us for the library of congress, tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span. >> the u.s. house of representatives is about to consider a bill that would allow churches to merge their pension funds with other funds. tomorrow, the house will pick up the republican plan that ties raising the debt ceiling to passing a balanced budget amendment. later in the week, federal aviation programs. live coverage of the house, here on c-span.
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 >> the house expected to come in shortly. a little more about the republican debt reduction plan the house is taking up tomorrow. it requires more than $100 billion in spending cuts, please is mandatory caps on future government spending, and would declare an the debt limit increase to be contingent upon congress passing a balanced budget amendment to the constitution.
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the house expected back in any minute now. a little bit later than we expected, about 4:15 eastern. there will be considering a bill to let churches merged their pension funds with other funds. later on, the house rules committee will consider what amendments if any will be allowed through the republican plan that ties raising the debt ceiling to passing a balanced budget amendment. that will be live at 5:00
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eastern on c-span 3 and c-span or -- in sees -- and c-span.org. we expect the house to come back in shortly to talk about a church measure that would let churches merged their pension funds with other funds. boats coming up later today at 6:00 thursday. more live coverage at 5:30 eastern here on c-span.
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we will get an update on the most -- the most recent developments in investigations of cell phone hacking by british journalists, including the upcoming produce committee hearing tomorrow, with rupert murdoch, his son james, and rebekah brooks.
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the house is expected to kick up a measure today that will allow churches to merge their pension funds with other funds. still expecting the house to come in later today at 6:30 eastern for a vote. live on c-span. >> tonight on "the communicators," robert mcdowell on the fcc actions this week to
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begin cracking down on on authorized charges on phone bills. that and other news from the s.e.c. tonight on "communicators." >> with titles like "slander" and "demonic," ann coulter has something to say. you are invited to treat the syndicated columnist for three hours, starting at noon eastern, live on c-span to. >> you are watching c-span, bringing you politics and public affairs. every morning, it is washington journal, connecting with elected officials, policy makers, and journalists. weekdays, watch the u.s. house. also, supreme court oral arguments. on the weekends, you can see our signature interview program.
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on saturdays, the communicators. on sundays, prime minister's questions from the british house of commons. you can also watch our programming anytime at c- span.org. it is all searchable on our video library. a public service created by america's cable companies. >> the website firedoglake is organizing people across the country to visit the offices of sen -- of senators and representatives to show opposition from security and medicare cuts. this morning, we talked with the blog founder. journal quebec continues. host: at the table, founder of firedog lake blog, jane hamsher.
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we are talking about the future of spending in this country. guest: we have been organizing around the attempts to cut social security benefits. it looks like they are really going to do something this time. we are asking people to go to their local congress office and tell their member of congress that they oppose it. host: how big will it be? guest: we have already had it thousand people commit to doing this. people are concerned understandably. they need to put a face to it. host: what darker thoughts on the idea of a balanced budget and how toet there? guest: i think -- the conclusion of a family budget and the united states government is probably not the best way to
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look at what we are doing right now. i think cutting programs, especially domestic spending programs, are bad for the economy. most economists would agree with it. host: how fired up are you and your people about this issue? guest: i think social security is a defining issue for those that define themselves as democrats. the willingness of this president and congress to go after it changes whathe democratic party stands for. host: here are the numbers to call to speed withjane hamsher. they are at the bottom -- to speak with jane hamsher. they are at the bottom of your
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screen. here is a little bit of president obama from friday. >> this is tough on the democratic side as well. some of the things i spoke about and said i would be willing to see happen, there are some democrats think it is unacceptable. i am trying sell that if you are a progressive, you should be concerne about debt and deficit,ust as much as if you are a conservative. the only thing we are talking about over the next year or so is debt and deficit, then it is hard to start talking about how to make investments in community colleges so our kids are trained. how to be rebuilt to dollar trillion worth of structures? if you care about making investments in our kids and in
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the structure, and basic research, then you should want ever fiscal house in order, so that every time we propose a new initiative, someone does not throw up their hands and say more government, more fixed spending. host: you wrote we must act now to save social security and medicare. what should we be thinking and feeling right now, which is to adopt a liberal policy. tell us more. guest: no matter what the president does, there is always going to be someone raising their hand. . do you hope to cut enough out of social security and medicare? they just passed a continuation
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of the bush tax cut last year. that is what punched a hole in this deficit. to handle one without the other , and lower taxes on people and now fight this battle on raising xes, and to cut so security and medicare is a problem for americans that overwhelmingly oppose it. many agree that this is not the way to handle this. it is like a rabbit came to try to cut social security and medicare. the republicans have offered to clean debt ceiling increase with no cuts.
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host: when you hear the phrase, shared sacrifice, what does it mean? guest: it seems to mean shared between the poor and the elderly. what we are looking at is probably a commission tt could not come to an agreement, but was in support of cutting social security and medicare. president obama said he put support the cuts, but would not support the defense cuts. host: first call is from wyoming, a republican. caller: thanks for being there. i always appreciate c-span. i will get to the point and take any comments he may have often
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the air. why do people from the left and never state the cts that sells a security reforms that have been talked about in recent years to not touch anybody 55 years or older? that is one question. then, social security will become insolvent down the road. everyone on both sides of the aisle agrees on that. they never want to mention the reasons why this might be necessary. although we all pay into social security, in this day and age, people take in more than they ever paid in. guest: 55 years or younger, that is not true.
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they are talking about a cost- of-living adjustment and the way they calculate it. social security has plenty of money and it is absolutely solvent. the government is obligated to pay . it will not become insolvent. the treasury notes that are in there are good. there are the same that everyone else has across the world. unless you say the government is not. to pay its debt, which i do not think people want to do --
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unless you are saying that the government should not pay its debt, i do not think any of those arguments work. host: our guest is the founder of firedog lake blog. about 30 minutes longer. democrat, next. caller: i was wondering if you have had the chance to look at a bill proposed that a congressman from pennsylvania made. it deals with taxes. i have a comment about the tea party. they want to takes back to 1958.
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some white anglo-saxon protestants want to be in charge of everything and know their place. i would remind them to read the american dollar bill, where it has the phrase in at 10,e pluribusnum. -- phrase in latin, e pluribus unum. i do not understand why they want to take us back there. guest: some believe we should cut down so security benefits and medicare. it is ironic that both parties are conspiring to do this, when the american public does not want that. host: one person talk about consumption tax. there is a lot on the table on
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the tax issue. any particular aspect you want to see? guest: i want to see them protect security and medicare benefits. i think there are several wars that are not free that we should start talking about that the american people are not in support of any more. congress seems to be ignorant of what the american people want. they do not want so security and medicare benefits cut in order to balance the budget and cut the deficit. they will -- they want to see cut in other places. host: how are they dling with the speaker and minority leader? guest: mitch mcconnell came out with a proposal but we will
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offer up a clean debt ceiling vote with no spending cuts attached. the president did notike it, because it had three branches of increase that he would have to take personal responsibility for. nancy pelosi and hillary reid said they support it. she was taking part in the debt ceiling negotiations. when john boehner said on friday that he would not be going to camp david, because the but house was considering negotiations there, nancy pelosi said the same thing. her role in all of this is weird right now. she seems to be reluctant to impose this vote. host: new jersey, independent. caller: i do not agree with you
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about having some cuts to social security and other expenses. there should be cuts on a lot of wasted programs in the government. we cannot just continue our spending. it is out of control. 40 cents of every dollar is spent -- it is to sustain our lifestyle. the comment about taking a clean vote for the debt ceiling. that is a cop out. congress needs to do their job. they need to make these hard choices. we will have to increase taxes on the wealthy.
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they are paying 14% that is ridiculous. we have to rse taxes on the rich. look, we're going to have to make some cuts. some of the cuts they're talking about are not great. i do not think he should cut such as security, but if you have to, compromise to get a big deal done, that is fine. education is a bad cut. right now we're falling further and further behind the rest of the world in education. if they have to make some sort of cuts there, you may have to do it. we may not even have a country to worry about if we continue the way we are. host: thank you. we get the point. guest: i do not agree we have to make cuts to social security or medicare and neither does the rest of the country. i agree the wealthy should pay more. i do not think we should have
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extended the bush tax cuts for them last year. i was in support of drawing the line at $1 million. the president was anxious to do deal and that is why we are here. host: talking about nancy pelosi, you're not sure why nancy pelosi is not opposing the vote on the caucus. what do you mean? guest: i am not sure what is going on. they are probably going to jam a vote on them that forces them to have a mission. a debt commission that the president very much wanted have in congress voted against last year. i think it was in 2009. that is why the president appointed the deficit commission. this is something that congress does when they wanted to the unpopular things. it is what they did when they did the base closings. no individual senators or member of congress wanted to take responsibility for that, so they
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had a commission, but the set of recommendations with an up or down vote with no posbility of amendment. i think that is the way that will finallyut medicare and social security. it is very undemocratic. what they're basically saying, we're not on use congressional process. we're goi to not use the normal rules of order to do something that is incredibly unpopular. host: here is an advertisement called "jam session." >> today's seniors understand the benefits of social security and medicare. they know these programs will be just as important for future generations, so why is washington talking about benefit cuts? stand with us and tell congress, don't cut so security d medicare. because we pay into these programs with every paycheck and americans of all ages in the security these benefits provide. st: jane hamsher, your efforts
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specically to mark to express opposition, u talk about 2000 people pledging support? >> i think that was from friday. i think we have more now. we're asking people to visit their member of congress tomorrow. president obama says we have to eat a opeas. -- eat our peas. you can go too far the dog from -- you can go to firedoglake.com. there is an information chic you can download. it really letshe member of congress know up close and personal these people depend on this money. cutting it off right now is not only terrible for them, but the economy. consumer sentiment has dropped to its lowest point i think since 2009 at the height of the economic downturn because of the debt ceiling talks.
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it is having a terrible impact on the economy. telling senior citizens they may not get their check is highly irresponsible. host: we just asked if it should make corporate the career of congress. having a vote regarding social security? guest: i think so. i think they should lose their seats if they votfor this. host: mike, republica caller: good morning. i was arrogant like the members of congress and the senators and everyone along those lines up until 2008. in 2008, i was goi in for back surgery and was found with terminal cancer. in june 2009, i went on medical disability. and announced to me. i did not even know i was eligible. the doctor told me to file. guess what? in june of this year, i was eligible for medicare. i was on social security
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disability. i was eligible for medicare. i d to continue working during that time because my private insurance when i was allowed to make wall drawing disability, i had to work to pay my private insurance for two years. and now i am on social security. by a private entrance is fixing to lapse. guess at? i get -- i wished i worked at congress because are in the congressman or senators on medicare? guest: i believe several of them are of an age to receive medicare. i am very sorry you had this illness. i am happy that so security and medicare have been there for you. americans have the confidence that if it happens to you, it happens to them. so security and medicare will be there to catch them. that is the contract the
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american government has had with the new people that we will never go through what we went through before in the great depression. i do not think congress understands how fundamentally americans trust this. their turn to say this has to happen for the fiscal secured of the country, -- they are trying to say this has happened for fiscal security of the country. wars, bombs, will subsidies. you name it, there is a long list. i really think that going after the money that is sustaining people like you is really a moral and an american. kansas.t's go to caller: good morning. my question is, why does congress want to stop paying social security and micare when they take a medicare and social security out of people's checks a week?
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i want to know, why can they just come to a conclusion and stop that? they're putting money in other places like to the war, places like that in afghanistan, to other wars. that is my question. guest: two interesting thing your question brings up. when fdr designed so security, he said, we're going to put it on your checks every week so you will see it being taken out and you will note it is there for you. that was very, very important to fdr and the preservation of the social safety net. also, he said, we are going to make sure that every time -- that you know this is something that is solvent, but the money is there in the bank so it is not a welfare program but it
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should not be means tested. we all know what happens to welfare programs. we all know they go under the kne. he said it had to apply to everyone. that is one of the things they want to attack at this point, too. you may say, well, the wealthy should not because it is in financial trouble. it is not. the minute you make of a welfare program, the death warrant. host: we have heard recruitment efforts will be hurt by any perceived abandonment in the area of medicare by democratic leaders. your thoughts? your efforts this weekend organizing, what will you be telling folks? gut: if they support in the cuts to social secure the and medicare benefits, that we will not support any politiciawho does this. i think is important people in both parties do this. all parties need to know this is how the public feels. stickies role, i am amazed that would try to do this.
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-- steve israel, i'm amazed they would try to do this. one of the big calling cards of the republicans in 2010 was about democrats try to cut medicare benefits. i do not think they did, but that was largely a premise. remember, they understand the american public, both parties with is protected. you need to go and tell them this. go and tell them. if you're on medicare or social security, if you depend on this, go to their office tomorrow and let them know this is how you feel because they are not getting at host:. who are supporting for president in 2012? guest: good question. i do not think anyone needs to commit to vote for anyone right now. there is a very long time between now and the election. i think elections are opportunities to encourage the
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people that you like to do the right thing. encourage president obama to do the right thing. i encourage him not to cut social security and medicare benefits or means test and i courage him not to start a commission with the purpose of cuttingocial security and medicare benefits. that is what i would very much like to see and a presidential candidate. host: i have to ask, if he allows any cuts or reductions to go through, where you go in terms of the next election? guest: we have had 50,000 people pledged it would not support any politician who supports these cuts. at means president obama if he supports that, same criteria applies to an. i do not know who will be running in 2012, but i hope the president does the right thing and i end up supporting him. host: independe, new hampshire. to my: i've been talking
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representative and the speaker of the houses office, try to get so sick to the runoff from the time we had social security -- i've been trying to get social security runoff. no one can seem to tell me where it has gone. basically in washington, they have this as their own bank. they get their sticky fingers in that and we never get a runoff of where this money went. guest: that is a very good question read in the 2000 election, they're talking about the lock box, that there would not region as a secure the money in order to pay government expenses. -- that they would not reach into social security in order to pay government expenses. the lid got blown off that. if yousk people like alan simpson,hey will say they spent on roads and bridges. you cannot say, we took this unfunded wars.
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but that is where the budget swelling came from. host: one question, is your guest some social security and medicare has no fraud and abuse? millions are cheating or liberal system. guest: if there is fraud, i support cutting it. but we're talking about cutting the cost of living increase for social security, meansesting it, cutting medicare benefits, increasing copays, increasing the retirement age -- which would be a huge benefit cut to people over the course of their lifetime. host: bob, publican. good morning. caller: i have been watching this stuff on sosa security and everything. i have been on it for good number of years. most of the money that comes through, some people do not make that much on social security.
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if they end up cutting are putting their fingers in it, so to speak, some of these people do not make a lot of money in social security and depend on this to pay for their medical bills and their food and rent and everything else. the problem i have come i live in missouri. the problem i have, me and another fellow and saying with, we are both on disability. as it is, we are barely making it month by month. i could not believe they were even thinkg about cutting social security. i have never had a president -- i called social security myself and they said, no, we do not know if there wi be out on the second because they go to the banks. they were telling me they do not know if there will be out on the second or not. guest: so security is telling
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you that? they cannot legally not pay this. is unconstitutional. i am astounded they are telling you this. i understand you are a republican. this is typical what we hear from people. no one wants this to happen. host: democrat, texas. caller: me and my son are both on disability. we have cancer and are barely surviving on social security. i have a brother in law and sister-in-law the same way. if we do without that, we cannot buy groceries or medical or pay our rent. we are very worried. i did call social security, but they said there is no word yet on that. i am worried how we will pay our mortgage and everything next month. guest: i am so sorry. it is tragic you have to have
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this fear. it is released during the people who depend on this -- really scaring the people who depend on this. it is unconscionable that we continue to wage moral wars. the people do not have the confidence the money they have paid into this will not be there. i urge everyone come visit your member of congress tomorrow. tell their staff in the office that you cared enough to show up and let them know how strong the field. they will do this. they really want to do this. this fear mongering, basically, that they're doi is to make you scared they have to make cuts to in order to keep paying out benefits. it is not true. host: how about the debt limit in the debates in the pressure here in washington? if you look at the folks on the hill, what do you see? guest: it is manufacturer. they have raised theebt ceiling ihink seven times
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under george bush. everyone knows it has to be done. eventually, obama was right, the republicans will have to cave because the banks will not let them not do it but they put it in his court and said, you have to take responsibility for it. we will make sure people get their social security on aust 2. the president is the one who is saying, no. he is saying, the democratic party is saying we want spending cuts along with the raising of the debt ceiling. they're doing more damage to the economy with the politics they are playing in the situation. guest: akron, ohio, independent. caller: i kind of agree with you. i am disappointed obama would even mention trying to cut social security. let me ask a question and i will hangp and listen to you.
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shouldn't the capital raised at least from what it is now like $109,000 of income? i mean, to mean, that seems logical. why would youot raise it to $250,000 of income that social security would be taxed on that and come? i will hang up and listen. guest: the caller is talking about the cap on the amount of money you earn the social security taxes are taken from. it seems like to be a much better solution, something far more american support to raise the cap, if there is more money needed, rather than to make cuts in the program or benefits. if you believe that, go to your member of congress to mark in their office. their staff this is how you think. they do not seem to g that. host: what about the higher retirement age of rock? guest: it is horrible.
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it is no different than the paul ryan plan. it forces them on to the exchanges. it puts them in the exchanges and they reach a certain income level, they are given essentially vouchers. it is sort of a first step on that front, too. but people who are poor, who do manual labor, are more likely to need medicare earlier than people who are wealthy. it is a very, very, very aggressive move. host: republican line. welcome to the program. caller: i have a question print i keep hearing we need to cut this and we need to cut that. so security and medicare was a contract in the government and the american people that he would be there for us.
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it is money that should have never been toued by the politicians. there should be an accounting in washington, d.c. to the amican people, how much money they should have how much is taken out of social security and why it has not been paid back. and how many people in this country pass away each year at retirement age and never draw that first time of social security? where does that money go to? how much money -- how much of that money does the federal government keep? if we are going to tighten the belt, then need answers from the government of what they're doing with the money they take in. and the politicians need to tighten the purse strings on some of this idiotic spending they do and get this country back on the right track with things that needs to be or it needs to have money spent on it first. and then all of th other stuff
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can be put into play secondary, wants the needs of the american people needs our debt was first. guest: i will note this children it is a republican and he said it is a contrac with the american people, social security and medicare benefits, and he wants an accounting. ultimately, we aee on the same thing. do not get these benefits. these are benefits the government said they will pay out. host: here are a couple of emails for you -- guest: it has been reported in several papers that these are the things being considered. we are taking the news at face value. he also said in his own press confence that we had to keep our peas any thought this was the time for cuts. i think you can only go with
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what is currently being discussed. host: and another one -- guest: yes, i think that is a good point. everyone talks about st. ronald reagan, but he actually raised taxes after he cut them. we do not have the kind of responsible politicians in washington, d.c. who will me that tough choice against party- line, putting country above politics. host: try this one -- well, the were not voting on social security and medicare. had they been, they would have voted to keep it. host: georgia from north carolina, a democrat. caller: i am worried about medicare, medicaid and social
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security. i get medicare. i do realize there are a lot of frogs and both the systems, medicare and medicaid, which i think should be looked into because a lot of people are all other peoples cards and things like that and get help. what i am most interested in is social security. that is the people's money. i, for one, that is the only money i have coming into my household, which i'm sure many, many, many other people have. if i do not get my checks on the third, i will be evicted. my ranch will not be paid. my electrical not be paid. my phone will not be paid. i will have no money. i have exactly $10 to my name. i do not think it is correct for the federal government to take after the little guy. i bet you 2 cents if the republicans had to live on the amount of money we get and
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social sickened for one month, they would change their tune. guest: i am sorry you have that anxiety and fear. especial when the fed continues to shovel out free money to banks. they are threatening to knock on the social security checks is absolutely ridiculous. i am very sorry about that. i hope everyone will visit the member of congress tomorrow and let them know this is the situation that millions of americans are in, and that this is not where they can start tightening their belts. this is not the place to do. whether you are republican or democrat, whether you think the deficit needs to be closed or not, americans believe this is not the place to do the cuts. you can get the infortion from firedoglake.com. there is a fact sheet you can download and give to them.
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there is a speech you can read to them to give them the facts. it is important to voice heard now because it will vote to do this very soon. unless you let them know you're watching this -- watching them and do not support this, that is what will happen. host: we've talked a lot about social security and medicare. what about other social issues heading into the 2012 campaign? what is first and foremost on your mind in that area? guest: social issues? impactinthe elections? i think dan choi who is the veteran who was discharged under don't ask, don't tell, was arrested in front of the white house. that is one of the reasons people feel don't ask, don't tell ultimately passed. people are routinely arrested in front of the white house all the time and charged with misdemeanors. dan choi is the first person been charged by the department

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